Getting Started

In order to run the game script, you will have to install ROS and the simulation packages.

Set Up

Installing ROS


It is assumed that you do not have ROS installed on your Ubuntu OS. The code we use here is tested on ROS Melodic on Ubuntu 18.1 and the following instructions show the installation steps for ROS Melodic.

First, make sure your Debian package index is up-to-date:

sudo apt update

It is recommened that you do the full ROS desktop installation that comes with: ROS, rqt, rviz, robot-generic libraries, 2D/3D simulators and 2D/3D perception

sudo apt install ros-melodic-desktop-full

Now should have installed ROS Melodic on your computer as well as Gazebo (for visualising simulations) and RVIZ (for setting up and visualising motion planning)

You will need to install catkin, the ROS build system.

sudo apt-get install ros-melodic-catkin python-catkin-tools

Installing Movit

Movit is the motion planning Rviz plugin that can be interacted with in Rviz. To install the prebuilt binaries, type in to your terminal

sudo apt install ros-melodic-moveit

Installing Project folders

You would first clone the project repository into your home folder.

git clone

Now you have to make sure the submodules are updated.

cd RoboticsProject
git submodule sync
git submodule update --init --force --recursive

The submodules that you will be downloading are:

  • franka_gazebo : Contains 3D models of robot, for collision detection and rendering.
  • franka_ros : To use ROS to control the Franka Emika robot
  • libfranka : Driver software to control the Franka Emika robot
  • moveit_tutorials : Tutorial documentation files for using Movit motion planner(not really necessary)
  • panda_moveit_config : Contains demos using Movit motion planner

Some of these submodules have been forked and customised for our particular Franka Emika Robot.

Compiling all necessary files

You have pulled all the dependencies for gazebo, Rviz but now you need to compile them. Go to your catkin workspace.

cd catkin_ws

Now you need to compile all the driver code. To do that, in your catkin_ws folder


You will find that it takes a minute or two to build the driver files.

Now you should all be ready to run your simulation code.