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Develop your robotic tasks with hierarchical state machines using an intuitive graphical user interface

Project description

Develop branch: build_status_develop


Screenshot showing RAFCON with a big state machine

Develop your robotic tasks using an intuitive graphical user interface

RAFCON uses hierarchical state machines, featuring concurrent state execution, to represent robot programs. It ships with a graphical user interface supporting the creation of state machines and contains IDE like debugging mechanisms. Alternatively, state machines can programmatically be generated using RAFCON’s API.

Universal application

RAFCON is written in Python, can be extended with plugins and is hard- and middleware independent.

Visual programming

The sophisticated graphical editor can be used for the creation, execution and debugging of state machines.

Collaborative working

Share and reuse your state machines in form of libraries, stored as JSON strings in text files.
Example on how to create a simple state machine

Installation preparations

Before installing RAFCON, Python >=2.7, pip and setuptools are required on your system. Most of the other dependencies are automatically resolved by pip/setuptools, but not all of them. Those need be be installed manually, too:

Installation requirements for Ubuntu 16.04

# rafcon needs gtk > 3.20; the easiest way to install it is installing gnome3
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3-staging
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade

# restart system

sudo apt-get install python-dev python-pip libcairo2-dev gir1.2-gtksource-3.0 python-gi-cairo
sudo -H pip install --upgrade pip
sudo -H pip install --upgrade setuptools

Installation requirements for Ubuntu 18.04

sudo apt-get install python-dev python-pip build-essential glade python-gi-cairo
sudo -H pip install --upgrade pip
sudo -H pip install --upgrade setuptools

General requirements

If you are not using Ubuntu 16.04 or 18.04, please make sure that the following packages are installed:

  • Python >=2.7
  • pip (recent version required: v18 known to be working)
  • python-setuptools (recent version required: v40 known to be working)

Installing RAFCON

pip install rafcon --user

The --user flag is optional. If not set, RAFCON is installed globally (in this case you normaly need to have root privileges).

If during the installation the error ImportError: No module named cairo occurs, please install pycairo directly via:

pip install --user "pycairo<2.0.0,>=1.10.0"

If you are using Python 3.4, you will need a pip version <= 8. Run the following command, to downgrade pip:

pip install --user --upgrade pip==8

Of course you can also directly use the RAFCON sources from GitHub.

cd /install/directory
git clone rafcon


No matter which installation option you choose, RAFCON can be started from any location using (make sure /usr/local/bin or ~/.local/bin is in your PATH environment variable):



If you want to uninstall RAFCON, all you need to do is call

pip uninstall rafcon

Project details

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Files for rafcon, version 0.14.6
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