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Ruby robotics framework using Celluloid


Artoo is a micro-framework for robotics using Ruby.

Artoo provides a simple, yet powerful Domain-Specific Language (DSL) for robotics and physical computing.

Want to use JavaScript on robots? Check out our sister project Cylon.js (

Want to use the Go programming language to power your robots? Check out our sister project Gobot (

Code Climate Build Status



Arduino with an LED and a button, using the Firmata protocol.

require 'artoo'

connection :arduino, :adaptor => :firmata, :port => '/dev/ttyACM0'
device :led, :driver => :led, :pin => 13
device :button, :driver => :button, :pin => 2

work do
  on button, :push => proc {led.toggle}

Parrot ARDrone 2.0

require 'artoo'

connection :ardrone, :adaptor => :ardrone
device :drone, :driver => :ardrone

work do

  after(25.seconds) { }
  after(30.seconds) { drone.stop }


You can also write more modular class-oriented code, that allows you to control swarms of robots:

require 'artoo/robot'

SPHEROS = ["4567", "4568", "4569", "4570", "4571"]

class SpheroRobot < Artoo::Robot
  connection :sphero, :adaptor => :sphero
  device :sphero, :driver => :sphero

  work do
    every(3.seconds) do
      sphero.roll 90, rand(360)

robots = []
SPHEROS.each {|p|
  robots << => 
                              {:sphero => 
                                {:port => p}})

Ruby versions supported: Ruby 2.1, Ruby 2.0, Ruby 1.9.3, JRuby 1.7.4+, and Rubinius 2.1+

Rubinius requires 1.9 mode, to install Rubinius in 1.9 mode using rvm

rvm get head && rvm install rbx-2.1.1 --1.9

Artoo is conceptualy influenced by Sinatra as well as borrowing some code from it.

Artoo provides a robust actor-based messaging architecture, that can support fully multi-threaded operation and high-concurrency, as long as it is supported by the Ruby version in which it is executing. This means you will need to use JRuby or Rubinius for maximum concurrency.

To a large extent, this is due to being built on top of Celluloid, Celluloid::IO, and Reel.

Hardware support:

Artoo has a extensible system for connecting to hardware devices. The following robotics and physical computing platforms are currently supported:

More platforms are coming soon!

Artoo also has support for devices that can work across multiple hardware platforms.

  • GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output) devices <=> Drivers
  • i2c devices <=> Drivers

Do you have some hardware that is not yet supported by Artoo? We want to help you, help us, help them! Get in touch...

Getting Started:


gem install artoo

Then install the gems required by the hardware you want to use. For example, if you wanted to integrate a PS3 controller to fly your ARDrone:

gem install artoo-joystick
gem install artoo-ardrone

If you will be using socket to serial commuication (required if you will use JRuby or Rubinius), you are ready to start programming your hardware.

If you want to connect via serial port directly, and are using MRI, install the hybridgroup-serialport gem:

gem install hybridgroup-serialport

Writing your robot code:

Now you are ready to write your own code. Take a look at the examples directory for a whole bunch of code you can use to help get started. We recommend using TDR (Test-Driven Robotics) with your preferred test frameworks.

Running your robot:

ruby myrobot.rb


Artoo includes a RESTful API to query the status of any robot running within a group, including the connection and device status, and device streaming data via websockets.

To activate the API, use the api command like this:

require 'artoo'

connection :loop
device :passthru
api :host => '', :port => '4321'

work do
  puts "Hello from the API running at #{api_host}:#{api_port}..."

Once the robot or group is working, you can view the main API page at the host and port specified.

Test-Driven Robotics:

Artoo makes it easy to do Test Driven Development (TDD) of your robotic devices using your favorite Ruby test and mocking frameworks.

Here is an example that uses Minitest, Mocha, and Timecop:

require './test_helper'
require './test_robot'

describe 'sphero' do
  let(:robot) { }
  let (:start) { }

  before :each do

  after :each do

  it 'has work to do every 3 seconds' do
    robot.has_work?(:every, 3.seconds).wont_be_nil

  it 'receives collision event' do
    robot.sphero.publish("collision", "clunk")
    sleep 0.05

  it 'must roll every 3 seconds' do + 3.seconds) do
      sleep 0.05
    end + 6.seconds) do
      sleep 0.05

to describe the following Sphero robot:

require 'artoo'

connection :sphero, :adaptor => :sphero, :port => ''
device :sphero, :driver => :sphero

def contact(*args)
  @contacts ||= 0
  @contacts += 1
  puts "Contact #{@contacts}"

work do
  on sphero, :collision => :contact

  every(3.seconds) do
    sphero.roll 90, rand(360)

The repo with full example of using Artoo for test driven robotics is located at


Artoo uses the Gort Command Line Interface (CLI) so you can access important features right from the command line. We call it "RobotOps", aka "DevOps For Robotics". You can scan, connect, update device firmware, and more!

Artoo also has its own CLI so you can generate new robots, or use its console.

$ artoo
  artoo console ROBOT                # Run a robot using the Robi console
  artoo generate SUBCOMMAND ...ARGS  # Generates a new robot or adaptor
  artoo help [COMMAND]               # Describe available commands or one specific command
  artoo install SUBCOMMAND ...ARGS   # Installs utility programs
  artoo start ROBOT                  # Run a robot
  artoo version                      # Displays the current version


Artoo includes a console based on Pry to allow you to interactively debug and control your robot.

$ artoo console ./examples/hello.rb 
         run  robi ./examples/hello.rb from "."
I, [2013-07-03T17:11:35.793913 #5527]  INFO -- : Registering connection 'loop'...
I, [2013-07-03T17:11:35.794939 #5527]  INFO -- : Preparing work...
robi> start
Starting main robot...
I, [2013-07-03T17:11:48.950888 #5527]  INFO -- : Initializing connection loop...
I, [2013-07-03T17:11:48.955804 #5527]  INFO -- : Starting work...
I, [2013-07-03T17:11:48.956152 #5527]  INFO -- : Connecting to 'loop' on port '#<Artoo::Port:0xfea0>'...
robi> list
robi> hello
robi> stop
Stopping robots...
robi> exit
D, [2013-07-03T17:12:04.413060 #5527] DEBUG -- : Terminating 7 actors...
D, [2013-07-03T17:12:04.414300 #5527] DEBUG -- : Shutdown completed cleanly


Want to integrate a hardware device we don't have Artoo support for yet? There's a generator for that! You can easily generate a new skeleton Artoo adaptor to help you get started. Simply run the 'artoo generate adaptor' command, and the generator will create a new directory with all of the files in place for your new adaptor gem.

$ artoo generate adaptor awesome_device
Creating artoo-awesome_device adaptor...
      create  artoo-awesome_device
       exist  artoo-awesome_device
      create  artoo-awesome_device/Gemfile
      create  artoo-awesome_device/LICENSE
      create  artoo-awesome_device/
      create  artoo-awesome_device/Rakefile
      create  artoo-awesome_device/artoo-awesome_device.gemspec
      create  artoo-awesome_device/lib/artoo-awesome_device.rb
      create  artoo-awesome_device/lib/artoo-awesome_device/version.rb
      create  artoo-awesome_device/lib/artoo/adaptors/awesome_device.rb
      create  artoo-awesome_device/lib/artoo/drivers/awesome_device.rb
      create  artoo-awesome_device/test/adaptors/awesome_device_adaptor_test.rb
      create  artoo-awesome_device/test/drivers/awesome_device_driver_test.rb
      create  artoo-awesome_device/test/test_helper.rb


Check out our documentation for lots of information about how to use Artoo.

If you want to help us with some documentation on the site, you can go to branch and then, follow the instructions.


Need more help? Just want to say "Hello"? Come visit us on IRC freenode #artoo


  • All patches must be provided under the Apache 2.0 License
  • Please use the -s option in git to "sign off" that the commit is your work and you are providing it under the Apache 2.0 License
  • Submit a Github Pull Request to the appropriate branch and ideally discuss the changes with us in IRC.
  • We will look at the patch, test it out, and give you feedback.
  • Avoid doing minor whitespace changes, renamings, etc. along with merged content. These will be done by the maintainers from time to time but they can complicate merges and should be done seperately.
  • Take care to maintain the existing coding style.
  • Add unit tests for any new or changed functionality.
  • All pull requests should be "fast forward"
    • If there are commits after yours use “git rebase -i ”
    • If you have local changes you may need to use “git stash”
    • For git help see progit which is an awesome (and free) book on git

(c) 2012-2015 The Hybrid Group

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