Open Source Software in Robotics

The Robotics Library (RL) is a self-contained C++ library for robot kinematics, motion planning and control. It covers mathematics, kinematics and dynamics, hardware abstraction, motion planning, collision detection, and visualization. It is developed as an open source project, used in research projects and in education, and is free for use in commercial applications.

RL focuses on cross-platform development and can be used in various setups, ranging from real-time patched Linux systems to standard Windows systems. It can be integrated into custom desktop applications as well as distributed robot systems. Use cases range from low-level control and hardware abstraction to planning and simulation. RL uses CMake as its build system and can run on Windows, Linux, and MacOS with support for various compilers such as GCC, Clang, or Visual Studio.


Rickert, Markus, & Gaschler, Andre. (2017). Robotics Library: an Object-Oriented Approach to Robot Applications. IROS Vancouver 2017: IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Vancouver, BC, Canada September 24-28, 2017: Conference Digest, 733–740.

Rickert, Markus, Sieverling, Arne, & Brock, Oliver. (2014). Balancing Exploration and Exploitation in Sampling-Based Motion Planning. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 30(6), 1305–1317.