As far as I understand, MoveIT can act as a IK/FK solver one can supply input into (i.e. end-effector xyz) and get an output (joint angle values).

I'd like to utilize this aspect of MoveIT (version 1) in a personal project without having to install and run the entire ROS middleware environment. Is there a way to use MoveIT and its C++/Python API as a separate, command-line app or a linked library? Similar to how OpenCV can be used outside ROS, i.e "import OpenCV"

  • $\begingroup$ P.S: I am aware of Docker install option. Just would like to know if there is a way to use MoveIT without any middleware. $\endgroup$
    – Noideas
    Oct 5, 2022 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ From the install page it says, Prereq: Install ROS. $\endgroup$
    – Chuck
    Oct 6, 2022 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Chuck Yes, that's how one would normally use MoveIT! I was hoping someone might have an idea on how to use it without this Prereq $\endgroup$
    – Noideas
    Oct 9, 2022 at 3:33

1 Answer 1


The entire ROS ecosystem is made up of CMake C++ (and Python) packages. These CMake packages are simply C++ libraries compiled via CMake. It sounds like what the question is asking for is can they create a CMake C++ library that does not depend on ros.h or rclcpp.hpp or a library that depends on these dependencies. This means that the message files must also not be used. I suggest going to the git repository (usually github hosts them) for the the ROS package and look for where there are references to ROS. Simply re-write the functions that use ROS messages and ROS transport mechanisms so that you don't need to use ROS.

Honestly, though, it is probably better if you learn to build ROS2 from source so that you learn from experience how all of these packages depend on each other, even if you don't need ROS. Why the hard requirement to not use ROS? ROS is simply a data transport layer that is tailored to the robotics hardware ecosystem. MoveIt has many dependencies and separating ROS from the libraries would not get you closer to solving your problem. I suggest creating a Dockerfile to build ROS2 from source starting from a Ubuntu 20.04 docker image.


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