Armer Driver


Armer Driver

QUT Centre for Robotics Open Source License: MIT Build Status Language grade: Python codecov

Armer documentation can be found here


Armer aims to provide an interface layer between the hardware drivers of a robotic arm giving the user control in several ways:

In addition to a multiple control method layer, Armer is designed to be a compatability layer allowing the user to use the same code across different robotic platforms. Armer supports control for physical and simulated arms giving users the ability to develop even without access to a physical manipulator.

Below is a gif of 3 different simulated arms moving with the same cartesian velocity commands.


Several ROS action servers, topics and services are set up by Armer to enable this functionality. A summary of these can be found here.

Armer is built on the Python Robotics Toolbox (RTB) and requires a URDF loaded RTB model to calculate the required movement kinematics, RTB comes with browser based simulator Swift which Armer uses as an out of the box simulator.

Due to these supporting packages using Armer with a manipulator will require several requirements:

Software requirements

Robot specific requirements

  • ROS drivers with joint velocity controllers
  • Robotics Toolbox model


Copy and paste the following code snippet into a terminal to create a new catkin workspace and install Armer to it. Note this script will also add the workspace to be sourced every time a bash terminal is opened.

sudo apt install python3-pip 
pip install git+
pip install git+
pip install git+
pip install git+
mkdir -p ~/armer_ws/src && cd ~/armer_ws/src 
git clone && git clone 
cd .. && rosdep install --from-paths src --ignore-src -r -y 
echo "source ~/armer_ws/devel/setup.bash" >> ~/.bashrc 
source ~/armer_ws/devel/setup.bash
echo "Installation complete!"

Supported Arms

Armer relies on the manipulator's ROS driver to communicate with the low level hardware so the the ROS drivers must be started along side Armer. NOTE: the below packages are required for control of a real robot - see below for simulation usage instructions

Currently Armer driver has packages that launches Armer and the target manipulator's drivers are bundled together. If your arm model has a hardware package, control should be a fairly plug and play experience. (An experience we are still working on so please let us know if it isn't.). Below are the github pages to arms with hardware packages. Install directions can be found on their respective pages.

For more information on setting up manipulators not listed here see the Armer documentation, Supported Arms.


The Armer interface can be launched with the following command for simulation:

roslaunch armer armer.launch config:={PATH_TO_CONFIG_YAML_FILE}

Alternatively, the Armer interface can be launched for a real robot using the following command (Note that this can also support simulation if you wish via the sim parameter):

roslaunch armer_{ROBOT_MODEL} robot_bringup.launch config:={PATH_TO_CONFIG_YAML_FILE} sim:={true/false}

After launching, an arm can be controlled in several ways. Some quick tutorials can be referenced below:

For more information and examples see the Armer documentation

CRICOS No. 00213J