Robotics Toolbox for MATLAB
9.8 / February 2, 2013
The Robotics Toolbox is MATLAB Toolbox software that supports research and teaching into arm-type and mobile robotics.  This is free software but requires the proprietary MATLAB environment in order to execute. A subset of functions have been ported to GNU Octave. The Toolbox forms the basis of the exercises in the textbooks. 
The Toolbox provides functions for manipulating and converting between datatypes such as: vectors;homogeneous transformations; roll-pitch-yaw and Euler angles and unit-quaternions which are necessary to represent 3-dimensional position and orientation. The Toolbox is useful for the study and simulation of:
- Classical arm-type robotics: kinematics, dynamics, and trajectory generation. The Toolbox uses a very general method of representing the kinematics and dynamics of serial-link manipulators. These parameters are encapsulated in MATLAB objects, robot objects can be created by the user for any serial-link manipulator and a number of examples are provided for well known robots such as the Puma 560 and the Stanford arm amongst others. It can operate with symbolic values as well as numeric.
- Ground robots and includes: standard path planning algorithms (bug, distance transform, D*, PRM), kinodynamic planning (RRT), localization (EKF, particle filter), map building (EKF) and simultaneous localization and mapping (EKF), and a Simulink model a of non-holonomic vehicle.
- Flying quadrotor robots, and includes a detailed Simulink model.
Use of MATLAB
MATLAB is a commercial software by Math Works Inc., USA. It has large number of mathematical operators and commands that can perform wide range of analysis, e.g. matrix operations. algebraic and differential equation solutions, optimisations, control experiments, etc.
It is expected that MATLAB is installed in a computer where the user will be performing computations. If an icon is available on the Desktop the user has to double-click on it using the left button of the mouse connected to the computer. Alternatively, the user can left-lick. in sequence, on the button/menus that popup: Start -> All Programs -> Matlab-> MATLAB.
How to Use MATLAB
When MATLAB software starts. the MATLAB screen appears with ">>" prompt. This window is called MATLAB command window. Some basic operations are shown here. For detailed description, one may refer to the books available on MATLAB, e.g. Pratap (2002), and use the Demos and Help menu of the software.
- Straanowicz, Aaron; Gian Luca Mariottini (2011). "A Survey and Comparison of Commercial and Open-Source Robotic Simulator Software". Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Pervasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments. doi:10.1145/2141622.2141689.
- Nourdine, Aliane (September 2011). "Teaching fundamentals of robotics to computer scientists". Computer Applications in Engineering Education. 19 (3): 615–620. doi:10.1002/cae.20342.
- Craig, John (2004). Introduction to Robotics (3rd edition). Prentice-Hall.
- Corke, Peter (2011). Robotics, Vision & Control. Springer. ISBN 978-3-642-20143-1.