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ROS Kortex is the official ROS package to interact with Kortex and its related products. It is built upon the Kortex API, documentation for which can be found in the GitHub Kortex repository.

Download links

You can refer to the Kortex repository "Download links" section to download the firmware package and the release notes.

Accessing the color and depth streams

To access the color and depth streams, you will need to clone and follow the instructions to install the ros_kortex_vision repository .



This package has been tested under ROS Kinetic (Ubuntu 16.04) and ROS Melodic (Ubuntu 18.04). You can find the instructions to install ROS Kinetic here and ROS Melodic here.

Google Protocol Buffers is used by Kinova to define the Kortex APIs and to automatically generate ROS messages, services and C++ classes from the Kortex API .proto files. The installation of Google Protocol Buffers is required by developers implementing new APIs with the robot. However, since we already provide all the necessary generated files on GitHub, this is not required for most end users of the robot.


These are the instructions to run in a terminal to create the workspace, clone the ros_kortex repository and install the necessary ROS dependencies:

    sudo apt install python3 python3-pip
    sudo python3 -m pip install conan
    conan config set general.revisions_enabled=1
    conan profile new default --detect > /dev/null
    conan profile update settings.compiler.libcxx=libstdc++11 default
    mkdir -p catkin_workspace/src
    cd catkin_workspace/src
    git clone
    cd ../
    rosdep install --from-paths src --ignore-src -y

Then, to build and source the workspace:

    source devel/setup.bash

You can also build against one of the ARMv8 builds of the Kortex API with Conan if you specify the CONAN_TARGET_PLATFORM CMake argument when using catkin_make. The following platforms are supported:

  • Artik 710:

      catkin_make --cmake-args -DCONAN_TARGET_PLATFORM=artik710
      source devel/setup.bash
  • IMX6:

      catkin_make --cmake-args -DCONAN_TARGET_PLATFORM=imx6
      source devel/setup.bash
  • NVidia Jetson:

      catkin_make --cmake-args -DCONAN_TARGET_PLATFORM=jetson
      source devel/setup.bash

As you see, there are instructions to install the Conan package manager. You can learn more about why we use Conan or how to simply download the API and link against it in this specific section of the kortex_driver readme. You can also decide


The following is a description of the packages included in this repository.


This package implements the simulation controllers that control the arm in Gazebo. For more details, please consult the README from the package subdirectory.

Note The ros_control controllers for the real arm are not yet implemented and will be in a future release of ros_kortex.


This package contains the URDF (Unified Robot Description Format), STL and configuration files for the Kortex-compatible robots. For more details, please consult the README from the package subdirectory.


This package implements a ROS node that allows communication between a node and a Kinova Gen3 or Gen3 lite robot. For more details, please consult the README from the package subdirectory.


This package holds all the examples needed to understand the basics of ros_kortex. Most of the examples are written in both C++ and Python. Only the MoveIt! example is available exclusively in Python for now. A more detailed description can be found in the package subdirectory.


This package contains files to simulate the Kinova Gen3 and Gen3 lite robots in Gazebo. For more details, please consult the README from the package subdirectory.


This metapackage contains the auto-generated MoveIt! files to use the Kinova Gen3 and Gen3 lite arms with the MoveIt! motion planning framework. For more details, please consult the README from the package subdirectory.


This folder contains the third-party packages we use with the ROS Kortex packages. Currently, it consists of two packages used for the simulation of the Robotiq Gripper in Gazebo. We use gazebo-pkgs for grasping support in Gazebo and roboticsgroup_gazebo_plugins to mimic joint support in Gazebo.