NVIDIA, Ready Robotics look to simplify automation deployments

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Forge/OS 5 NVIDIA Omniverse

Ready Robotics is bringing its Forge/OS universal operating system to NVIDIA‘s Omniverse Isaac Simulator. This partnership comes as part of NVIDIA’s strategic investment in Ready Robotics. The amount of the investment wasn’t disclosed.

NVIDIA is joined by existing investor Micron Technology, as well as new investor SIP Global Partners. Ready Robotics said the new funding will allow it to continue developing its Forge/OS 5 platform and expand to support a growing ecosystem of partners and developers.

Ben Gibbs, CEO and co-founder of Ohio-based Ready Robotics, said the company wrote software drivers for virtual robots that behave the same way as their real-world counterparts. Forge/OS works with all the major robotics brands, including ABB, Epson, Fanuc, Kawasaki, Staubli, Yasawa and Universal Robots, and supports a growing list of accessories, including cameras, force sensors, grippers and much more.

“I think in the longer term, there’s going to be some very interesting applications where Omniverse is allowing you to control and build up digital twins, and then the Forge/OS is controlling the physical plane,” Gibbs told The Robot Report.

NVIDIA and Ready Robotics started working together in 2021. After it launched the Forge/OS SDK, Ready Robotics put out a call for third-party companies to build out capabilities on top of the platform. NVIDIA was one of the company’s selected to build on a closed version of the SDK.

The partnership would seemingly help get Forge/OS into the hands of more robotics developers thanks to NVIDIA’s global reach.

“The way we see it, the benefit for NVIDIA is the fact that what is now done in Omniverse can seamlessly translate over to robots running Forge/OS in the real world without anyone having to write software drivers for that type of interface,” Gibbs said. “Typically, offline programming software requires a post processor and spits it out into code that is basically translated into the OEM’s native robot programming language. The benefit here is that you can now have software developers who are working in Omniverse be able to work with real robots through a common set of APIs, so that they can just pick the right robots for the job that they want to use for whatever project that they’re working on.”

Both NVIDIA and Ready Robotics won 2022 RBR50 Robotics Innovation Awards from sister publication Robotics Business Review. Ready Robotics won for Forge/OS 5 and its ability to reduce programming time, deployment time, and enable anyone to control robots regardless of programming experience.

NVIDIA won for its Omniverse Replicator, a data generation engine that produces synthetic data for training deep neural networks based on physical simulations in photorealistic, physically-accurate virtual environments.

The Forge/OS and Isaac Simulator is being demonstrated at Automte in booth 2783.