Robotics Library

Install RL on Ubuntu

For Ubuntu, we maintain a personal package archive (PPA) on Launchpad. It contains the currently released version of the Robotics Library and, most importantly, all dependencies necessary for that version. The main advantages of the PPA are that the installation of RL cleanly works together with your package manager, resolves all dependencies and provides automatic updates.

Robotics Library PPA in Ubuntu Software Center
The Robotics Library and its dependencies can be installed and updated with packages managers, such as the Ubuntu Software Center or Synaptic.

Currently, the oldest supported Ubuntu version is 10.04 LTS "Lucid". However, future versions of RL will probably only built for 12.04 LTS "Precise" and newer, roughly following Ubuntu's support periods. The Ubuntu PPA can usually also be used for other Debian-based systems.

The only limitation of the Ubuntu packages is that we purposely left out some rarely used hardware interfaces (Comedi, ATIDAQ, and FireWire cameras), and the optional collision detection library PQP. This is just a compromise between the number of dependencies and functionality required by most users.

Package Installation on Ubuntu

To add the Robotics Library repository to your system, execute the following commands in your terminal.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:roblib/ppa
sudo apt-get update

You can then install RL by a terminal command or by using your favorite package manager, e.g., the Ubuntu Software Center, Synaptic, or similar applications.

sudo apt-get install librl

If you want to develop software using the Robotics Library, you should install the development files.

sudo apt-get install librl-dev

Installation for other Debian-based systems

Even though we have not tested other Debian-based systems, it is worth trying to add the PPA and proceeding as described above.

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-key 01172DC4
sudo echo "deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/roblib/ppa/ubuntu precise main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install librl

The label "precise" will give you the package versions made for Ubuntu 12.04 and should be replaced appropriately. If you think your system is much older or newer, you should try other available versions.

Trying out RL

If they haven't been automatically included in the previous installation, you can install the demo applications and a couple of example files.

sudo apt-get install librl-demos librl-examples

The demo applications can be run directly from the start menu (look for "Robotics Library" under the categories "Science" and "Robotics") or via one of the following terminal commands.

The first demo uses the scene graph component to visualize a simple scene with a Unimation Puma 560 robot manipulator.

/usr/bin/rlViewDemo /usr/share/rl/examples/rlsg/unimation-puma560_boxes.xml

You can then try a collision detection and distance computation demo with a basic scene consisting of two boxes.

/usr/bin/rlCollisionDemo /usr/share/rl/examples/rlsg/scene.xml

The next two applications combine kinematics and visualization for the control of a Unimation Puma 560 robot manipulator.

/usr/bin/rlCoachKin /usr/share/rl/examples/rlsg/unimation-puma560_boxes.xml /usr/share/rl/examples/rlkin/unimation-puma560.xml
/usr/bin/rlCoachMdl /usr/share/rl/examples/rlsg/unimation-puma560_boxes.xml /usr/share/rl/examples/rlmdl/unimation-puma560.xml

Finally, you can use the path planning demo application to find collision free motions for the Unimation Puma 560 using the Rapidly-Exploring Random Trees (RRT) algorithm.

/usr/bin/rlPlanDemo /usr/share/rl/examples/rlplan/unimation-puma560_boxes_rrtConCon.xml

Continue with the tutorial First Steps with RL on Linux to learn how to develop with RL.