Robotics Library

Install RL on Windows

For Windows, we maintain an installer that contains the currently released version of the Robotics Library and, most importantly, all dependencies necessary for that version.

Robotics Library windows installer
The Robotics Library and its dependencies can be installed via an all-in-one installer on Windows.

The Robotics Library has large set of features covering mathematics, hardware interfaces, path planning algorithms, and visualization. It therefore makes use of several other open-source projects, most of which are included in the all-in-one installer for your convenience.

We made the decision to build everything in 32-bit for Visual Studio 2010 and keep Qt seperate, as we think this is the configuration most useful to new users. Also, the installer is compiled without several rarely used features such as camera drivers. This has been done to avoid complicated, but rarely used dependency libraries.

Installation on Windows

The development files for Qt are not included in the RL installer in order to minimize the size. Please download the official installer for Qt 4.8.5 32-bit Visual Studio 2010 and install it before you install RL.

After the installation of Qt, download the Robotics Library installer and start the setup procedure (you may have to run the installer as an administrator via the right-click menu).

Robotics Library environment variables
The environment variables have to be set to the values listed here in order to run the demo applications.

The RL installer does not modify your environment variables, you need to set them manually in order to complete the installation and run the demo applications. Go to "Control Panel/System/Advanced System Settings/Environment Variables" and set the "system variables" to the following values.

Variable Value Set/Prepend
QMAKESPEC win32-msvc2010 set to exact value
QTDIR C:\Qt\4.8.5 set to exact value
RL_DIR C:\Program Files (x86)\rl‑0.6.2 set to exact value
PATH %RL_DIR%\bin;%QTDIR%\bin; prepend to existing value

In order to compile your own programs, you also need to install the Visual Studio 2010 compiler (e.g., the free Express Edition) and the cross-platform build system CMake ≥ 2.8.11. With Visual Studio, ensure you have the latest updates installed, including at least SP1.

Trying out RL

The demo applications can be run directly from the start menu (look for "Robotics Library") 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.

"%RL_DIR%\bin\rlViewDemo.exe" "%RL_DIR%\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.

"%RL_DIR%\bin\rlCollisionDemo.exe" "%RL_DIR%\share\rl\examples\rlsg\scene.xml"

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

"%RL_DIR%\bin\rlCoachKin.exe" "%RL_DIR%\share\rl\examples\rlsg\unimation-puma560_boxes.xml" "%RL_DIR%\share\rl\examples\rlkin\unimation-puma560.xml"
"%RL_DIR%\bin\rlCoachMdl.exe" "%RL_DIR%\share\rl\examples\rlsg\unimation-puma560_boxes.xml" "%RL_DIR%\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.

"%RL_DIR%\bin\rlPlanDemo.exe" "%RL_DIR%\share\rl\examples\rlplan\unimation-puma560_boxes_rrtConCon.xml"

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