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A beginner friendly, minimalistic and open source robot arm simulator I wrote in python for a robotics class back in 2012. Stoolbotics is designed to be a general purpose arm and kinematics simulator aimed at being a teaching tool for aspiring roboticists.

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Linear algebra and mathematical concepts behind robotics are difficult for a beginners without any visual context. This is especially true for people who are primarily visual learners (like me). This tool will hopefully fill a gap in education environments where robotics is being taught.


Stoolbotics (right) simulating a phantom omni (left).


Stoolbotics has many features that make it attractive to the aspiring roboticist and the robotics education classroom:

  • An easy to use / understand file format for specifying a robot arm
  • Ability to visualize any robot that can be specified in such a file
  • Compute the forward kinematics of any robot from DH parameters
  • Command line interface within simulator with many useful commands
  • Customizable simulation environment
    • Animate and draw paths for arms
    • Control time-stepping
    • Change variables in the simulator on the fly
  • Record / playback simulator activity
  • MATLAB compatible
    • Import a recording generated in MATLAB
    • Able drive simulator in real time from a UDP stream (includes an example of this)
  • Built in help from simulator command line and comprehensive documentation
  • Cross platform implementation


Lucas DoyleWritten by Lucas Doyle