Alphabet’s Intrinsic has released Flowstate, an app development platform set to democratize robotics programming.

The tech giant announced the product on Monday, saying that it could simplify the process of programming robots for people who are not experts in the field.

More specifically, Flowstate is designed to help simplify the robotics process, making it more accessible to a broader audience by allowing users, including non-roboticists, to build and deploy robotics applications.

The platform is intended to enhance industrial robots’ performance by enabling them to sense, learn and adapt automatically as they complete tasks, allowing them to work in a wider range of settings and applications.

In collaboration with teams across Alphabet, Intrinsic has been testing the software that uses automated perception, deep learning, reinforcement learning, motion planning, simulation, and force control.

Flowstate Provides Users With Graphical Tree Model

The platform provides a graphical tree model that users can employ to develop complex workflows.

It contains skills for manipulation, path planning, pose estimation, and force-based insertion to make the development of robotics applications accessible to a broader audience.

Additionally, the platform’s simulation feature, which uses Gazebo, allows users to run simulations to determine how their application can play out in real-world scenarios.

The platform will serve as a solution builder. “You can design it, build it, and deploy it,” said CEO Wendy Tan White in an interview with TechCrunch.

White noted that the early stage of skills in robotics applications has created a gap for software such as Flowstate to bridge. However, with the skills library included, users can build and develop workflows for their robotic systems.

Select skills more difficult to access today, such as using machine learning or deep reinforcement learning for vision and force feedback, have been created by the Intrinsic team, and they are included on the Flowstate platform.

Moreover, Intrinsic has made it possible for users to incorporate their own third-party skills. This feature not only creates ease of use but will also help in building an ecosystem for robotics programming.

The release of Flowstate by Intrinsic comes a few months after a massive round of layoffs within Alphabet.

Among the companies impacted by the layoffs was Every Day Robotics, which merged with Google DeepMind.

Intrinsic Lays Off 40 to Pivot to Software and AI

There was also a 40-person reduction in Intrinsic’s workforce due to layoffs. According to CEO White, it was necessary for a small pivot within the company.

“We made a choice to not focus on that. That’s what the layoffs were actually about. It was to focus on the software and the AI part of what we’re doing and that first product,” White stated.

“I think what confused the external world at that time is we were obviously doing the acquisition with Open Robotics. They (the projects) were related in the sense that we’ve decided we want to be software-focused, which is where Open Robotics fit in really well.”

Intrinsic has made a beta release of Flowstate available to the public, which reportedly received more than 100 signups in the first hour of release.

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