MATLAB and Simulink for 
Robot Manipulators

MATLAB® and Simulink® provide specialized algorithms, simulation tools, ROS support, and hardware connectivity for developing robot manipulators.

With MATLAB and Simulink, you can:

  • Integrate mechanical designs from CAD with models of the electrical system
  • Analyze power consumption to select the most efficient design and trajectory
  • Combine perception and motion planning systems for autonomous robot manipulator applications using built-in algorithms and sensor models
  • Design robot control algorithms and simulate with a robot model while including a 3D simulation environment
  • Evaluate your robot manipulation algorithms by connecting external simulators or real robots
  • Automatically generate production code to deploy to robot controllers and onboard compute boards
  • Advance your robotics projects by using provided reference application examples, which encompass the integrated workflows for developing autonomous robotics applications

“With Robotics System Toolbox, we seamlessly connected to and controlled our robot directly from the algorithms we had developed in MATLAB, enabling us to minimize development time. We used the time we gained to further our research into new tactile object recognition algorithms.”

Takamitsu Matsubara, Nara Institute of Science and Technology

Using MATLAB and Simulink 
for Robot Manipulators

Robot Manipulator Platform Development

Robot manipulator platform development consists of multiple components, including mechanical systems, actuators, electrical systems, and environmental models. With MATLAB and Simulink, you can optimize custom designs and improve algorithms for robot manipulators.  MATLAB and Simulink help you:


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Robotics Perception

Modern industrial robot manipulators require robotic perception for where sensor data and artificial intelligence are involved to perceive the surrounding environment. You can integrate sensor data coming from a single sensor or multiple sensors and develop your robotics perception algorithms using MATLAB and Simulink. MATLAB and Simulink enable you to:

  • Connect to sensors and peripherals
  • Analyze and compare sensor data to perceive the environment
  • Gain insight from image, video, LiDAR, and other types of sensors
  • Provide capabilities for classification and detection of objects to grasp
  • Estimate an object’s pose and grasp points by using the various computer vision algorithms provided
  • Connect to ROS or ROS 2 middleware through ROS network to input sensor data

Robot Motion Planning and Control

Industrial manipulators perform tasks by following a collision-free path within the environment. MATLAB functions and Simulink blocks provide capabilities to plan a safe and efficient motion and control. With MATLAB and Simulink, you can:


Simulation-Based Testing of Robotics Applications

Simulation helps you detect errors at an early design stage in a virtual setting with high repeatability and ease of changing model parameters and reduce the risk and cost of hardware testing. MATLAB and Simulink provide capabilities to:

  • Quickly validate robot algorithms with abstract motion models
  • Explore the entire design space rapidly using parallel computing
  • Apply optimization algorithms to both the controller and plant to find the best design
  • Integrate realistic sensors for industrial manipulator applications such as stereo camera, encoder, and torque sensor
  • Perform deterministic co-simulation between Simulink and Gazebo
  • Validate robot models in real-world simulation environments by interfacing with 3D physics simulators

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