This, the eighth release of the Toolbox, represents nearly a decade of tinkering and a sub-
stantial level of maturity. This release is largely a maintenance one, tracking changes in
Matlab/Simulink and the way Matlab now handles help and demos. There is also a change
in licence, the toolbox is now released under LGPL.
The Toolbox provides many functions that are useful in robotics including such things as
kinematics, dynamics, and trajectory generation. The Toolbox is useful for simulation as
well as analyzing results from experiments with real robots.
The Toolbox is based on a very general method of representing the kinematics and dynam-
ics 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 know robots such as the Puma 560 and the Stanford arm. The Toolbox
also provides functions for manipulating and converting between datatypes such as vec-
tors, homogeneous transformations and unit-quaternions which are necessary to represent
3-dimensional position and orientation.
The routines are written in a straightforward manner which allows for easy understanding,
perhaps at the expense of computational efficiency. My guide in all of this work has been
the book of Paul, now out of print, but which I grew up with. If you feel strongly about
computational efficiency then you can always rewrite the function to be more efficient,
compile the M-file using the Matlab compiler, or create a MEX version.
This release is primarily fixing issues caused by changes in Matlab and Simulink R2008a.
· Simulink blockset and demos 16 all work with R2008a
· Some additional robot models were contributed by Wynand Swart of Mega Robots
CC: Fanuc AM120iB/10L, Motoman HP and S4 ABB 2.8.
· The toolbox is now released under the LGPL licence.
· Some functions have disappeared:
· Some functions have been redefined, beware:
The toolbox used to use roll/pitch/yaw angles as per the book by Paul in
which the rotations were: roll about Z, pitch about Y and yaw about X. This
is different to the more common robot conventions today, and as used in the
vehicular and aerospace industry in which roll is about X, pitch about Y and yaw
about Z. The functions
r have been changed accordingly.