ARS: Python robotics simulator

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ARS is a physically-accurate robotics simulator written in Python. Its main purpose is to help researchers to develop mobile manipulators and, in general, any multi-body system. It is open-source, modular, easy to learn and use, and can be a valuable tool in the process of robot design, in the development of control and reasoning algorithms, as well as in teaching and educational activities.

ARS uses Open Dynamics Engine (ODE) as physics engine, and Visualization Toolkit (VTK) as graphics engine. While both are well regarded and popular open-source software, ARS was designed to minimize coupling with them (through included abstraction layers) to let developers experiment with other alternatives.


Because ARS is pip-compatible, it's very easy to install, upgrade and uninstall it:

$ pip install ARS
$ pip install --upgrade ARS
$ pip uninstall ARS

While that's the recommended way to go, you may still follow the old-fashion procedure: download the file, unpack and run

$ python install


ARS needs:

  • Python 2.6 or 2.7
  • ODE (Open Dynamics Engine) 0.12 with Python bindings
  • VTK (Visualization Toolkit) 5.8 with Python bindings
  • NumPy 1.6

ODE and VTK can be somewhat complicated to install, depending on your OS.

For detailed installation instructions (ARS and requirements) and troubleshooting, see the online documentation.


The documentation is hosted at and it is generated dynamically after each commit to the repository.


This software is licensed under the OSI-approved "BSD License". To avoid confusion with the original BSD license from 1990, the FSF refers to it as "Modified BSD License". Other names include "New BSD", "revised BSD", "BSD-3", or "3-clause BSD".

See the included LICENSE.txt file.


To run the included test suite you need more packages (tox and mock):

~/ars$ pip install -r requirements_test.txt
~/ars$ tox