View Full Version : [News/Announcement] URBI for Bioloid!!

02-11-2008, 11:06 AM
Awesome news here everyone. I just found out that Gostai has created a version of their URBI software (http://www.gostai.com/urbi) for the Bioloid system:


We met Gostai out at RoboDevelopment last year and got a full demo of their URBI platform. They're really cool guys and it's great to see how enthusiastic they are about robotics. URBI seems so easy to use and just totally makes sense the way that they built this system. I'm really excited to see them building a Bioloid module (correct word?).

We've been wanting to play around with their software for many months now, but haven't been able to because we're trying to build up the store and community for everyone. So, if anyone has a chance to work with this software, or already has some experience with it, please reply to this thread with your thoughts both good and bad:) I'm really interested in knowing what others say about it!

02-11-2008, 12:14 PM
I'm actually busy at work today so I don't have much time right now to check out the link...

Cliff notes of what URBI is? Is it PC software or something that runs onboard a micro?

02-11-2008, 12:39 PM
I'm actually busy at work today so I don't have much time right now to check out the link...What? You're actually busy at work;)

Is it PC software or something that runs onboard a micro?From what I understood with what they told me at RoboDevelopment, it can either run directly on the microcontroller or use a slave architecture whereas URBI runs on the PC communicating with the slave device.

I know I'll totally butcher up a description, so I'm just going to copy and paste their description on URBIforge.com's FAQ (http://www.urbiforge.com/index.php?option=com_simplefaq&Itemid=55):

URBI (Universal Real-time Behavior Interface) is universal robotics platform based on a new scripted language, designed to work over a client/server architecture in order to control a robot or, in a broader definition, any kind of complex system, like a video game environment or characters. The main characteristics of URBI, which make it different from other existing solutions and make it particularly suitable for robotics, are:
URBI has been designed from the beginning with a constant care for simplicity. There is no "glue" complex architecture to be familiar with. It is understandable in a few minutes and can be used immediately.
URBI is a modular language. Motors and sensors are simple objects (UObject) plugged in the language to directly access the hardware capabilities.
URBI includes powerful parallel, time oriented control mechanisms and command separators to parallelize commands, serialize them, build complex motor trajectories or event based programming.
URBI is flexible, designed to be independent from both the robot and the client system or language (it currently works together with C++, Java, Matlab, on Windows, Mac OSX or Linux). URBI relies on TCP/IP or Inter-Process Communication if the client and the server are both running onboard. It is highly optimized for speed and low latency.You can check a video of URBI in action on aibo here (http://www.urbiforge.com/assets/video/urbi_demo.mov).
The specification of the URBI Language is available here (http://www.urbiforge.com/redirect.php?dest=specif). A Tutorial is available here (http://www.gostai.com/doc/en/urbi-tutorial-1.0/).
The URBI Licensing policy is described here (http://www.urbiforge.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5&Itemid=50).
Gostai has also partnered up with Cyberbotics (http://www.cyberbotics.com/)(creators of Webots) to allow you to directly interface URBI with Webots (http://www.gostai.com/webots.html)!

I just emailed Gostai, so hopefully they'll be able to join in on this thread to talk about URBI a bit more.

Unfortunately I don't have any direct experience with URBI as of yet, but I plan to in the next couple of months. I have a lego mindstorms kit at home for this sole purpose! Also, with the release of the Bioloid module, I'm definitely going to be taking a look at that too. Just finding time is the hard part:(

02-11-2008, 12:44 PM
Definitely is something I'll take a look at. I'm looking for a better interface to the SSC-32 as well (SEQ is sooo clunky), maybe it could be adapted to it eventually.

02-11-2008, 02:35 PM
The only real issue I've seen with URBI/Bioloid is the speed. The server runs on the PC, and you communicate to the Bioloid using the CM-5, which means it is limited to 57,600 baud. If they implement SYNC_WRITE, you could probably do open loop control (basically what a normal Bioloid does) at a decent rate. But if you want to closed loop (i.e., with an IMU for balance), you need much more bandwidth to the robot than that...

If they don't support SYNC_WRITE, then its an interesting start, but not all that useful...

- Jon

02-12-2008, 11:37 PM
I'm Gnibu from Gostai. To see what Urbi can do, you can have a look at some videos here: http://www.gostai.com/video.html The General URBI Technology one might interest you. Here is a video more specific to bioloid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJl3FtJZglE We will create more in the coming months. The version we have released is a beta/preview version, It is already able to do interesting things. We would like your feedback and comments on it to improve it.


02-13-2008, 09:08 AM
Hey Gnibu!

Thanks for joining us:)

Is there any way to run URBI directly on the ATMEL Atmega128 chip on the CM-5?

02-14-2008, 03:31 AM
Hi Alex,

No Urbi can run only on more powerful boards. We will study bypassing the CM-5 to control the motors directly from a board or a PC. The advantage of controlling from a more powerful board is that you can handle video and so for example use the famous ball tracking code :

whenever (ball.visible) {
headPan = headPan + camera.xfov * ball.x &
headTilt = headTilt + camera.yfov * ball.y;

02-14-2008, 07:56 AM
If you need some help getting set up for direction connection, let me know. I can probably send one of my USB interface boards your way if that would help...

- Jon

02-14-2008, 08:57 AM
Wow just got off of the URBI web page and I say again WOW. I was wondering could this software run a robot with just the URBI software. This seem to be a very easy software to learn for us who have no programming talent at all. It can interface with several robots but can it be the primary language without C#, JAVA etc. With all the boards the TRS sells this would open the doors for the beginner (like me)and the expert if the software can interface. One question I could not find was, if I created a macro with direct commands, as for example (open my fridge with my robot arm and get a beer) could I say "get me a beer" and then the robot would move to the fridge and run the macro? The tutorials are great but you do have to pay for tech support if you have a question, however this is still a great software. SO MANY QUESTIONS, SO LITTLE TIME.


03-20-2008, 09:56 PM
My curiosity about URBI is if it is going to be cross platform and will be available for Linux/UNIX.

Right now I am starting to learn PyRo (http://www.pyrorobotics.org) (Python Robotics), since Python (http://www.python.org) is definitely cross platform and I have been working with it for awhile.

I'm really not interested in Windows only solutions.


Droid Works
03-22-2008, 04:42 PM
Awesome Thank you for sharing this link Alex, This program is great.

03-23-2008, 05:07 AM
My curiosity about URBI is if it is going to be cross platform and will be available for Linux/UNIX.

Definitively, Urbi usually comes with version for windows, linux and mac. Servers and graphical clients as well.


07-22-2008, 03:36 AM
Hi all !

I recently talked to someone from Gostai who told about the forthcoming version of Urbi for Bioloid (1.5).
It seems it would be released lately in september 2008.


07-22-2008, 04:54 AM
Likewise, Would this run on my J5 with an ITX system, Love to know more. Thanks

07-22-2008, 11:00 AM
Is he a Bioloid? :)

07-22-2008, 01:50 PM
I'm stoked to see URBI working with the Bioloid:D:D:D Keep us posted!

07-22-2008, 04:29 PM
ya i would buy it in a heart beat when it comes out for my bioloid.. so when ever it comes out just send me the website and i would probably buy it right there.. ive looked at some videos on youtube about urbi and im impressed if it works as good as they make it seem then ill be a very happy man.

07-22-2008, 07:34 PM
Adrenalynn, As you know J5 is not a Bioloid, But was making inquiries if it would work in conjunction with windows based systems.