Robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery has made a substantial impact in operating rooms over the past few decades with their high dexterity, small tool size, and impact on adoption of minimally invasive techniques. In recent years, intelligence and different levels of surgical robot autonomy have emerged thanks to the medical robotics endeavors at numerous academic institutions and leading surgical robot companies. To accelerate interaction within the research community and prevent repeated development, we propose the Collaborative Robotics Toolkit (CRTK), a common API for the RAVEN-II and da Vinci Research Kit (dVRK)-two open surgical robot platforms installed at more than 40 institutions worldwide. CRTK has broadened to include other robots and devices, including simulated robotic systems and industrial robots. This common API is a community software infrastructure for research and education in cutting edge human-robot collaborative areas such as semi-autonomous teleoperation and medical robotics. This paper presents the concepts, design details and the integration of CRTK with physical robot systems and simulation platforms.