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 64-bit for Visual Studio 2017 and keep Qt separate, 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 installer only contains the runtime files for Qt necessary for running the included demo applications in order to minimize the size. The development files for Qt are only required for building RL itself and custom GUI applications. In that case, please download the official installer for Qt 5.9.2 and install Qt's development files for Visual Studio 2017 64-bit before you install RL.

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
RL will by default add its install directory to the environment variables in order to run the demo applications and to enable CMake to find packages.

In order to run the demo applications and to enable CMake to find RL and its dependencies when building your own application, the RL installer can modify your environment variables accordingly by adding its install directory to the PATH variable.

You can select to add this to the system's (default) or the user's environment variables or to do this manually. In the latter case, go to Control Panel/System/Advanced System Settings/Environment Variables and add the full path of RL's bin directory to the desired PATH variable.

In order to compile your own programs, you also need to install the Visual Studio 2017 compiler and the cross-platform build system CMake ≥ 2.8.11. With Visual Studio 2017, ensure you have the latest updates installed (at least version 15.5).

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 (navigate to C:\Program Files\Robotics Library\0.7.0\MSVC\14.1\x64).

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

bin\rlViewDemo.exe share\rl-0.7.0\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.

bin\rlCollisionDemo.exe share\rl-0.7.0\examples\rlsg\scene.xml

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

bin\rlCoachKin.exe share\rl-0.7.0\examples\rlsg\unimation-puma560_boxes.xml share\rl-0.7.0\examples\rlkin\unimation-puma560.xml
bin\rlCoachMdl.exe share\rl-0.7.0\examples\rlsg\unimation-puma560_boxes.xml share\rl-0.7.0\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.

bin\rlPlanDemo.exe share\rl-0.7.0\examples\rlplan\unimation-puma560_boxes_rrtConCon.xml

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