Whole-Body Control framework developed at the Stanford Robotics and AI Lab
C++ C Shell Python Objective-C
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


Stanford Whole-Body Control Framework

Copyright (C) 2008-2011 The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford Junior University. All Rights Reserved.

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License
as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of
the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
Lesser General Public License for more details.

The Whole-Body Control framework developed at the Stanford Robotics and AI Lab provides advanced control for human-centered robotics and mobile manipulation. This project provides a framework for developing robot behaviors that use operational-space hierarchical task decompositions, based on the work of many contributors over many years, under the guidance of and in collaboration with Oussama Khatib: most notably Jaeheung Park, K. C. Chang, Diego Ruspini, Roy Featherstone, Bob Holmberg, François Conti, Roland Philippsen and Luis Sentis.


Clone our GIT repository...

git clone git://github.com/poftwaresatent/stanford_wbc.git

...or grab a tarball from Sourceforge: the download area contains official releases.


The dependencis are:

  • a C++ compiler (we use GCC for development)
  • CMake cross-platform build system version 2.6 (or higher)
  • Eigen matrix library version 2
  • Fast Light Toolkit version 1.1.x (optional but required for tutorials)

After you cloned our repos, or downloaded and unpacked a release, go into the top-level source directory and build it:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..

There are CMake variables that influence the configure step. They get passed to cmake using its -DVARIABLE=VALUE command-line syntax. Note that reasonable guesses are made according to your operating system, but if you have installed some dependencies in non-standard locations, you will have to tell CMake where to find them.

variable namemeaningexample
EIGEN2_DIR Path where the Eigen matrix library is installed. This will end up adding several directories to the header search path: EIGEN2_DIR itself, EIGEN2_DIR/include, EIGEN2_DIR/eigen2, and EIGEN2_DIR/include/eigen2. Note that CMake will fail with an error message if it cannot find Eigen2, and you have to clear its cache before reconfiguring with a different EIGEN2_DIR setting. The easiest way to achieve that is to remove the entire build directory. If you installed Eigen2 underneath /home/toto/eigen2, then you have to pass -DEIGEN2_DIR=/home/toto/eigen2 to the CMake command.


We use the Google Testing Framework (included in the 3rdparty subdirectory). At the time of writing, we provide the following test programs. Also note that there is a runtests.sh script in the top-level project directory, which you can run from within the build directory by issuing ../runtests.sh (assuming that your build directory is one level below the top-level source directory, as implied in this README).

  • Basic (very basic) tests for the TAO dynamics engine are available by running:

  • A fairly complete suite of unit tests for the joint-space dynamics model (which is built on TAO) is available by running:

  • A budding collection of semi-functioning unit tests for the operational-space control library is available by running:

  • A quick test of the mechanism that builds controllers from YAML files:


If any of these tests fail, there is a regression that should be fixed. Please let us know via our Issue Tracker or sending an email to stanford-wbc-users@lists.sourceforge.net


If you have Doxygen then you can generate code documentation for the various sub-projects. There is a little rundox.sh script in the jspace/doc, opspace/doc, and tao/doc subdirectories (look for the same pattern in other parts of the project as well, we might forget to update this README file when adding sub-projects and documentation).

cd /path/to/stanford_wbc/jspace/doc
then open html/index.html in a web browser