The Actin SDK

Real-Time Adaptive Motion Control for Any Robot

Actin® is a general robot control and tasking framework built to meet the rigorous requirements of industrial, commercial, collaborative, and consumer robotic systems. In addition to being the only robotics SDK that provides real-time adaptive motion control for any robot or complex articulated mechanism, Actin provides users with a framework that can be used throughout the development process to simulate, build, control, and deploy a robotic system with unparalleled control capabilities.

actin basic architecture

Features & Capabilities

With the Actin SDK, roboticists are free to focus on what the robot does and where the end effectors and tools should be, not on how they get there. To this end, Actin supports advanced features not found in other control solutions, such as real-time collision avoidance, interactive control, and collaborative robot features for any number of axes. 

Easy Integration with Robots, Sensors and Actuators

Actin not only offers support for common robot manufacturers and new or custom systems but enables cross-vendor coordination. Actin users are not constrained by an operating system. Unlike open source or research solutions, Actin is built to support mission-critical applications and run on embedded systems.

  • Desktop applications for Windows, Linux, OS X
  • Real-time control on VxWorks, RT Linux, RTOS32, RTX64
  • Support for EtherCAT and CiA 402 standard drives
  • Support for many common manufacturers
  • Distributed processing support – DDS, TCP/IP, UDP, and more

General Kinematics and Dynamics Model

  • Inverse and forward kinematics and dynamics
  • Kinematically redundant mechanisms
  • Open and closed kinematic chains
  • Fixed and mobile base manipulators
  • Kinematic model, waypoint, and tool-path generation from CAD

Motion Control Framework

  • Dynamic Motion Control. Actin motion control responds and adapts in real-time based on the perceived environment using an efficient constraint-optimization engine. The robot end-effector is driven to reach a target constraint based on the selected motion optimizations.
  • Motion Constraints. Actin supports general constraints on any link in the robotic mechanism and includes 3D Point, 3D Orientation, 3D Pose, 2D Point, Planar, Free-Spin in Z, Linear Constraint and the ability to construct your own constraint. 
  • Motion Optimizations. Any time a robot has more degrees of freedom than is required by the task, Actin can optimize the motion. These optimizations can include collision avoidance, joint limit avoidance and others.

Key Motion Control Features

  • Dynamic collision avoidance
  • Joint limit and singularity avoidance
  • Strength optimization
  • Dynamic response to sensor data
  • Adaptive tasking
  • Part-relative tool paths and external TCP paths 

Robotic System Tasking Framework

  • Graphical Programming. Designers and engineers can use Actin's Manipulation Director graphical user interface to intuitively compose tasks for a system of robots. No programming skill is needed.
  • EcScript: Scripting language to make the toolkit easier to use and faster to learn. EcScript lets developers, even with no knowledge of advanced programming languages, create powerful motion commands with just a few lines of code. Software developers can still use C++ for advanced features if desired, using the Actin 5 SDK’s improved documentation for C++ APIs.
  • HMI Toolkit: A human-machine interface (HMI) toolkit allows developers to create touchscreen- or teach-pendant-friendly user interfaces (UIs). The HMI toolkit is built on Qt QML for multi-platform UI development and provides simple access to Actin features through QML properties. Rendering and visualization tools are also accessible from within QML to provide a rich user experience. Reference designs are available for commonly required UI features such as robot jogging controls, work-cell rendering, and contextual overlays.
  • Motion Scripting Interface. A simple real-time scripting interface called EcScript can  be used to task the robotic system through common commands for position control through waypoints, joint frame sequences, coordinate transformations, variables, and much more.
  • Global Path Planning. Reduce the burden of programming waypoints through constrained environments by letting Actin's global path planning navigate from a start to a step end-effector pose.

Key Tasking Features

  • Motion scripting interface
  • Drag and drop task programming
  • Complex tool path control
  • Coordination of many robots and axes

An expanded list of key features, including integration and platform details, can be found on the Actin Data Sheet

Benefits

With Actin powering your robotics solutions, you can look forward to

  • Faster time-to-market
  • Reduced software development costs
  • Reduced risk
  • Unparalleled control

What's Included

The Actin SDK includes the following:

  • Actin Core Libraries: C++ libraries and headers, example models, example tasks, example code
  • Actin Viewer: A software application tool used for configuring, tuning, and tasking the model. Can also be used as a testing HMI.  
  • Manipulation Director: A feature of the viewer used for tasking and motion planning
  • EcScript™: EcScrips it a scripting language to make the toolkit easier to use and faster to learn. EcScript lets developers, even with no knowledge of advanced programming languages, create powerful motion commands with just a few lines of code. Software developers can still use C++ for advanced features if desired, using the Actin 5 SDK’s improved documentation for C++ APIs.
  • SolidWorks Converter: A SolidWorks plugin used for creating articulated arms and mechanisms, and part relative tool paths
  • HMI ToolkitA human-machine interface (HMI) toolkit allows developers to create touchscreen- or teach-pendant-friendly user interfaces (UIs). The HMI toolkit is built on Qt QML for multi-platform UI development and provides simple access to Actin features through QML properties. Rendering and visualization tools are also accessible from within QML to provide a rich user experience. Reference designs are available for commonly required UI features such as robot jogging controls, work-cell rendering, and contextual overlays.

Actin Architecture Diagram

Related Content

schunk video
Video
Actin for Advanced Motion Control

 

Do It Yourself, Easily

Actin is the only robotics SDK that gives you real-time adaptive motion control. Contact us for a free consultation and demo.

Contact Us