For those new to robotics, it is natural to think that constructing the robots electronics and body (the hardware), is where most of the time is spent. Although these tasks can be time consuming, most of the development, effort of any robot project, is focused on the software. Robot software can be divided into the following categories:

  • Design – Deciding on how the robot will be made
  • Control – System – Controls the movement of the robot
  • Testing – Checking for errors in the control system
  • Simulation – Simulating how the robot will behave in the real-world

The following sections describe a selection of the most popular robot software available. For those new to robotics, we highly recommend having a look at Robomind. This free software is a great place to start and should help you understand many key robotics concepts. For Intermediate and Advanced users, we recommend Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio.


Free educationional software

RoboMind is software specifically developed to support technology education. By programming a robot, students learn about logic, computer science and robotics. The beauty of RoboMind is the compactness of the learning environment. It directly connects logical thinking to solving challenges encountered in daily life and industry. Read More

Microsoft Robotics Developer StudioMicrosoft Robotics Developer Studio

Free research software

Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio (MRDS), previously known as Microsoft Robotics Studio (MSRS), is a Windows-based environment for hobbyist, academic and commercial developers to create robotics applications for a variety of hardware platforms. RDS includes a lightweight REST-style, service-oriented runtime, a set of visual authoring and simulation tools, as well as tutorials and sample code to help get started. Read More


Commercial research software

Webots is a software for fast prototyping and simulation of mobile robots. It has been developed since 1996 and was originally designed by Dr. Olivier Michel at EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, in the lab of Prof. Jean-Daniel Nicoud. Since 1998, Webots is a commercial product and is developed by Cyberbotics Ltd. Read More

Player ProjectPlayer Project

Free open-source research software

The Player Project creates Free Software that enables research in robot and sensor systems. The Player robot server is probably the most widely used robot control interface in the world, and supports a wide variety of hardware. Client libraries in C, C++, Python, and Ruby are officially supported, while Java, Ada, Octave, and others are supported by third parties. Read More

MATLAB (Matrix Laboratory)MATLAB (Matrix Laboratory)

commerical educationional software

MATLAB is a high-level technical computing language and interactive environment for algorithm development, data visualisation, data analysis, and numeric computation. Using the MATLAB product, you can solve technical computing problems faster than with traditional programming languages, such as C, C++, and Fortran. Read More