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A Kinematic Solver for Baxter Robot in C++
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Baxter cppKDL

A Kinematic Solver for Baxter Robot in C++.


Baxter cppKDL is a C++ library that offers forward kinematics and inverse kinematic calculation. We got inspired by Baxter_pyKDL and tried to build a similar library for C++ users. It aimed to reduce the difficulty of using orocos KDL for the kinematic and dynamic analysis of Baxter in C++.


This library depends on orocos KDL(Kinematics and Dynamics Library). Thus, orocos-kdl package has to be installed. Please refer to [] for more information.

Build the baxter_cppkdl package

 $ cd ~/ros_ws/src
 $ git clone
 $ cd ~/ros_ws
 $ source ./
 $ catkin_make


  • baxter_kinematics(limb)
Arguments:limb(required), it could be 'left' or 'right'.
Description: Initialize the class with specific limb.


  • forward_kinematics(result, joint_value(optional))
Arguments: result(array)(required), joint_value(array)(optional)
Description: Solves the forward kinematics, if the joint value is unspecified, it will read the current joint angle from Baxter. The result will be written to result_array.
  • inverse_kinematics(result, position, orientation(optional), seed(optional))
    position(array)(required) - Cartesian Position, Orientation (optional) [x, y, z]
    orientation(array)(optional) - Quaternion Orientation [i, j, k, w]
    seed(array)(optional) - Seeded joint angles for solver. Searchs out from seeded joint angles for IK solution [s0, s1, e0, e1, w0, w1, w2] 
    Description: Solves the inverse kinematics using, providing joint angles given a Cartesian pose. The result will be written to result_array.


We also wrote an Example about how to use this libray, please refer to Baxter_cppKDL_Example repository.


This is our first ROS project. If you would like to give us some comments or have any question, we can be reached by sslf[at]foxmail[dot]com or ybfan910[at]163[dot]com.


We would like to express our great gratitude to Dr.Sina Parastegari for helping us come up with ideas and giving us a lot of valuable suggestions.

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