KUKA-KRL-Toolbox for Matlab® and Scilab



G. Maletzki, M. Christern, A. Schmidt, T. Pawletta, P. Dünow


There exists a further toolbox development through the research group Computational Engineering and Automation at Wismar University, the Robotic Control and Visualization (RCV) toolbox for MATLAB.
The RCV toolbox consists of two consecutive parts:
Robotic Control

The KUKA-KRL-Toolbox is developed through the research group Computational Engineering and Automation at Wismar University. It realises the control of industrial robots with SCEs like Matlab and Scilab. The Toolbox is tested and validated through a prototype-development basing on a KR3 robot from KUKA.

Due to the fact that research in robotics is proceeding, there are incessantly new fields of application for robots. As a result of that, the requirements concerning the robots are very great. Easy programming and integration of different external hardware (sensors, actors) are of particular importance. In this context it is desirable to offer a continuous homogeneous software environment from the early design to operation phase.

Control model design in the engineering and scientific domain are often characterized by the usage of Scientific and technical Computation Environments (SCEs) like Matlab, a famous commercial SCE. Other free SCEs already exist like Scilab or Octave. The KUKA-KRL-Toolbox closes the gap between the robot-manufacturer specific programming language, in this case KUKA Robot Language (KRL), and the SCEs. Figure 1 shows the extension of the KUKA environment by adding a PC including Matlab or Scilab.

Fig. 1: Integration of PC including Matlab or Scilab into KUKA environment

The KUKA controller is connected with the PC via serial interface. Subsequently, an interpreter was implemented in KRL to realise a bi-directional communication. The interpreter runs on the KUKA controller and is responsible for the identification and execution of commands that are transmitted by the PC. The control program is developed using Matlab or Scilab on the basis of the KUKA-KRL-Toolbox. Hence it runs on the PC.

Summarizing, the KUKA-KRL-Toolbox offers the following advantages:
  1. a continuous homogeneous software environment from the early design to operation phase
  2. easy integration of additional hardware
  3. a comprehensive test of control strategies using simulation
  4. perpetuation of security given by the KRL through workspace supervision, checking the final position switches of every robot axis etc.
  5. the possibility of using Matlab or Scilab-Toolboxes from design to operation

Downloading KUKA-KRL-Toolbox
The toolbox is not public domain. You can download the latest release of the KUKA-KRL-Toolbox from here. First, please contact the project supervisor (christina.deatcu[at]hs-wismar.de) for the required download authorisation.

Installing KUKA-KRL-Toolbox
Note: The install instructions are based upon a former successful Matlab or Scilab5.1 installation.

  1. Follow the instructions from the installation-file (german version / english version).
  2. Change to the KUKA-KRL-TOOLBOX directory.
  3. Verify your installation with the demo application.
See online-documentation (german version / english version) for further details.

Bug Report
The recommended method is to report the bug to the project supervisor by email (christina.deatcu[at]hs-wismar.de).

Related Publications
This section tries to list all publications dealing with the KUKA-KRL-Toolbox and Scientific Computational Environments (SCEs). It would be very nice if you can help to complete the list below.


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website started 2009, G. Maletzki
last update November 2016, T. Pawletta