To get started

You are excited to simulate your beloved robot with this brand-new robotics software. You want to solve the robot kinematics and dynamics. You want to do advanced motion planning because you heard Boston Dynamics uses Quadratic Programming to do backflips. You are in the right place, Drake is the software to get you started.

Install drake

Although there are binary and python bindings of Drake, I recommend you compile Drake from its C++ source code (this tutorial focuses only on the C++ version of Drake).

To download and install Drake, follow these installation instructions.

Note: Drake is compiled with the bazel build tool (developed by Google). It has similar functions as CMake.

After the installation, try the following simulation examples

Simulate a ball dropping onto an inclined plane

This README helps you simulate a ball dropping from a certain height onto an inclined plane, then sliding/rolling down the plane.

Visualize a KUKA arm

To control the position of a KUKA arm with a slider GUI, follow these instructions. (Note: The complete code is here.)

cd drake
bazel build //tools:drake_visualizer //manipulation/util:geometry_inspector
# Terminal 1
# Terminal 2
./bazel-bin/manipulation/util/geometry_inspector \

Explore more examples

Ideally, you now have learned how to visualize and run a simulation. You are ready to enjoy more examples under the drake/examples folder, such as the allegro hand example, in which you import an SDF model and run its simulation.

Where to go from here

Understand Drake concepts

Try using controllers to control a robot