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An extensible Python framework for simulating and interacting with robots

Project description

pypi docs license


Soar (Snakes on a Robot) is a Python framework for simulating and interacting with robots.

The software is designed to be the following:

  • painless: Using Soar for its intended purpose should be trivial. A student using Soar as part of an intro robotics course should, in the ideal case, have to look at Getting Started and nothing else.
  • extensible: Soar can support nearly any type of robot and any type of connection, so long as the user provides a suitable interface. Connect to robot’s over a serial port, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc–Soar is interface-agnostic. Though Soar provides basic physics for 2D collision detection and movement, the physics of simulated worlds and objects can be completely overidden.
  • simulation-driven: The most typical use case of Soar will be to run some stepwise simulation on a certain robot type, with some brain controlling it. It is not primarily designed for persistent robots that are always on or for situations where stepwise interaction is not suitable.
  • multiplatform: Soar uses no platform specific features, and uses Python’s standard GUI package, Tkinter, for its GUI. Soar should thus work on any platform with a standard Python interpreter of version 3.5 or later. Soar has been tested on Fedora 25 GNU/Linux, and Windows 8. If an issue arises running Soar on your platform, open an issue on GitHub.
  • open source: Soar is licensed under the LGPLv3, and may be used as a library by projects with other licenses.

To get started using Soar, see the Getting Started or the documentation.


Installing Soar is (hopefully) painless and primarily done 3 ways, ordered by decreasing ease:


  • Most Python installations will already have setuptools, necessary to install Soar, but if not, see this documentation to install it.
  • Installing Soar will also install pyserial version 3.0 or later, as well as matplotlib version 2.0 or later.
  • Soar was developed exclusively with Python 3.5 or later in mind. Your mileage may vary or be nonexistent if using an earlier version.

From PyPI

Soar can be installed from the Python Package Index (PyPI) by running pip install soar.

This will install the latest stable (not development) release.

From Releases

An arbitrary stable (not development) Soar release can be installed from the github releases, by downloading the .zip archive and running pip install <path-to-zip>.

From latest source

Clone or download the git repo, navigate to the directory, then run:

python3 sdist
cd dist
pip install Soar-<version>.tar.gz


Only stable releases of Soar will be published to PyPI or the github releases. Development versions will exist only in the GitHub repo itself, and will be marked with a .dev<N> suffix.

Typical versioning will look like the following: <MAJOR>.<MINOR>.<PATCH>. Major releases break backward compatibility, minor releases add functionality but maintain backward compatibility, and patch releases address bugs or fix small things.

If you have a specific feature you’d like to see in Soar, or a specific robot type you’d like bundled with the base software, or just want to contribute, consider opening a pull request.

Building Documentation

Building a local copy of the docs will require Sphinx.

Navigate to the docs/ directory and run sphinx-build -b html source/ <BUILD_DIR>.

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