Robotics employs numerous programming languages. The decision is based on the programmer’s particular experience as well as the challenge at hand. The most significant programming languages are discussed in this article, along with examples of where they are frequently employed in robotics. We’ll talk about the best programming language for beginners towards the end of this post.
It should be noted that this is a condensed summary meant to provide direction. Remember that none of this is definite because you can learn to code specific robotics assignments in a number of different languages.
Almost all areas of robotics can benefit from the usage of C/C++, but the closer you go to the hardware, the more likely it is that you will use it. The embedded software that often runs on a microcontroller and directly manages the motors inside the robot joints is where it all begins.
Then, a method of communication typically exists to link the robot hardware to higher level software, such as the controllers. The motion planning component of these controllers is frequently implemented in C/C++ as well. One explanation is because C/C++ algorithms are very efficient, which is crucial for their implementation since they frequently run on devices with low processing capability. As these algorithms must meet timing requirements, it is also crucial that they execute quickly (so called real time constraints).
In the realm of computer vision, efficient implementation-required algorithms are also prevalent. In addition to many other languages, C++ is also employed in machine learning and deep learning.
Find out here why “Why C++ Is the Ideal Robotics Programming Language” and why you should learn more about it.
Python is frequently referred to as a straightforward but flexible programming language. There are several libraries available for various applications, so you can obtain results right away.
OpenCV for Computer Vision is a prime illustration of such libraries. It is simple to use, and you can quickly put up programs for object detection, object tracking, facial recognition, and other functions. Python has grown in popularity as a tool for developing Deep Learning and Machine Learning applications. Again, there are several libraries with implementations of all the popular machine learning techniques. Some others make it simple for you to set up a neural network for your deep learning strategy. If you choose to take that route, there are libraries for reinforcement learning as well.
Python is a highly helpful programming language, aside from Computer Vision and AI, if you wish to automate tasks on your computer. In conclusion, having some Python in your toolbox is always a smart idea.
Frequently used in: applications, computer vision, machine learning, and scripting.
Check out our guide on getting started in robotics programming with Python here: Why Python Should Be Your First Language When Getting Started With Robotics.
Are you ready to get serious with Python? Check out our free guide here: Free Beginner Guide on Python for Robotics.
Also, if you’d like more information about Robotics Programming, please check out this link: Top 10 Most Popular Programming Languages for Robotics.
Although some may contest whether Matlab is truly a separate programming language, the reality remains that it is extensively utilized in robotics. The creation of robot controllers is arguably the most common use. It offers Simulink, a graphical programming environment that is useful for simulating and analyzing complicated dynamical systems.
You may model the joints of your robot and simulate the controls you created in Matlab. By doing this, you may test the controllers on virtual hardware first to see how the joint responds to signals from them. By doing this, you can avoid causing hardware damage because even a tiny error can cause your controllers to malfunction.
Recently, Matlab programmers have focused more on applications including computer vision and machine/deep learning. They offer tool-kits, which frequently include simple, almost effortless fixes to get things up and running.
Additionally, Matlab allows you to design the most stunning plots:
a lovely Matlab plot
Although Matlab is a paid product, students have access to free versions of the software. If not, you’ll have to pay a hefty price for it.
Frequently used in: control, simulation, computer vision, and machine/deep learning.
High level programming languages like Java are frequently employed in artificial intelligence. Additionally, it is frequently the first language that computer scientists who start with robotics learn.
The write once, run anywhere philosophy is one of Java’s key benefits. As a result, once Java code has been compiled on one machine, it may be executed on any other machine running the Java Virtual Machine. You won’t have to be concerned with the underlying computer architecture in this manner. When it comes to higher level applications with a higher level of abstraction, these characteristics make it popular.
Frequently used in: higher level applications, machine learning, and deep learning.
Java is a big one. Please click on the following link for a more in-depth breakdown of the awesomeness that is Java: Why Java Is The Ideal Language For Robotics
5. The Rest
Languages exclusive to the vendor: The majority of robot companies offer their own language for programming their robots, which is crucial for robot integrators. Some businesses provide a graphical interface for developing robot programs, for instance, by instructing movements on a mobile teaching pendant. Additionally, they have text-based languages that resemble well-known ones like Python or Pascal. Some robot producers additionally provide a C-API for accessing the capabilities of the robot.
Scratch: a visual programming language designed primarily to teach computational thinking and problem solving to kids up to the age of 16. Children can begin robot programming with the LEGO Mindstorm series, for example, and it is entertaining.
Which Programming Language Should You Study?
Here are some suggestions if you are new to robotics and are wondering which programming language you should learn first:
What you ultimately choose will depend on the particular field of robotics you wish to work in, as I already indicated. Additionally, you may complete the same assignment using a variety of programming languages, so if you are already familiar with one, just start there to get results right away.
If you’re unsure of where to begin and are looking for advice, I’ll share my personal viewpoint with you. However, keep in mind that this is quite individualized, and other people may hold different views.
Python and C/C++ are the two most often used languages in robotics. These are also the two native languages of ROS. Although C++ is a powerful language, learning it and getting something running could take longer. However, if you already have some programming knowledge, learning it thoroughly is unquestionably worthwhile (see out our tutorials to get started with C++ in robotics).
Python is quite simple to learn and has a fantastic community. There are many tutorials available, and you will be able to see results very soon. Use Python if you are a newbie.
You should read our “Where to Begin With Robotics” guide if you are just getting started. It demonstrates the most effective teaching strategy and directs you to certain materials you may use right away.
Thank you for reading, and do share your comments with us if you have any. Happy coding until then!