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The Tasks library is designed to make real-time control for kinematics tree and list of kinematics tree.
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Tasks is library for real time control of robots and kinematic trees using constrained optimization. It has been used extensively to control humanoid robots such as HOAP-3, HRP-2, HRP-4 and Atlas.



  • Support Kinematics Tree with Revolute/Prismatic/Spherical/Free/Planar/Cylindrical joints
  • Dynamic motion (motion must fulfill the equation of motion)
  • Contact forces in friction cones
  • Static contacts
  • Articular position, speed and torque limits
  • Collision avoidance
  • Multi-robot contact (can solve problems involving multiple robots in contact)
  • Tasks:
  • Posture target (articular position target, mandatory if you want avoid singularity issues)
  • Link Position/Orientation target
  • Link Velocity target
  • Center of Mass (CoM) target
  • Momentum target
  • Contact force target

To make sure that Tasks works as intended, unit tests are available for each algorithm.

The SpaceVecAlg and RBDyn tutorial is also a big resources to understand how to use Tasks by providing a lot of IPython Notebook that will present real use case.

An online documentation can be found online.


Ubuntu LTS (16.04, 18.04, 20.04)

# Make sure you have required tools
sudo apt install apt-transport-https lsb-release ca-certificates gnupg
# Add our key
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver 'hkp://' --recv-key 892EA6EE273707C6495A6FB6220D644C64666806
# Add our repository (stable versions)
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb $(lsb_release -sc) main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/multi-contact.list'
# Use this to setup the HEAD version
# sudo sh -c 'echo "deb $(lsb_release -sc) main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/multi-contact.list'
# Update packages list
sudo apt update
# Install packages
sudo apt install libtasks-dev python-tasks python3-tasks

Homebrew OS X install

Install from the command line using Homebrew:

# install homebrew package manager
ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
# install caskroom application manager
brew install caskroom/cask/brew-cask
# tap homebrew-science package repository
brew tap homebrew/science
# tap ahundt-robotics repository
brew tap ahundt/robotics
# install tasks and all its dependencies
brew install tasks

Manually build from source


To compile you need the following tools and libraries:

For Python bindings:


git clone --recursive
cd Tasks
mkdir _build
cd _build
cmake [options] ..
make && make intall

CMake options

By default, the build will use the python and pip command to install the bindings for the default system version (this behaviour can be used to build the bindings in a given virtualenv). The following options allow to control this behaviour:

  • PYTHON_BINDING Build the python binding (ON/OFF, default: ON)
  • PYTHON_BINDING_FORCE_PYTHON2: use python2 and pip2 instead of python and pip
  • PYTHON_BINDING_FORCE_PYTHON3: use python3 and pip3 instead of python and pip
  • PYTHON_BINDING_BUILD_PYTHON2_AND_PYTHON3: builds two sets of bindings one with python2 and pip2, the other with python3 and pip3
  • BUILD_TESTING Enable unit tests building (ON/OFF, default: ON)
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