UPMC iCub project

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This page is an outdated page on the software that was developed on the iCub in Paris. If you reached this page by searching for "iCub ROS" on Google, the page you are probably looking for is https://icub-tech-iit.github.io/documentation/icub_ros/ . If instead you have any other doubt on how to use iCub with ROS, please ask a question in https://github.com/robotology/community/discussions .

About this guide

General information

This guide is essentially a collection of several wiki pages to support the activities around the iCub in ISIR, UPMC. It provides instructions for the robot maintenance and its configuration, for developers and users. It is complementary to the official manual of iCub, and contains details of some configurations specific to iCubParis.


The guide is written and maintained by Serena Ivaldi.

Please write to Serena for any problem you may encounter in following the instructions on these pages! The robot configuration and its cluster is in continuous evolution!

Printable versions of the guide



CoDyCo is a humanoid robotics project based on the iCub humanoid robot. It is a EU STREP project from 2013 to 2017.


MACSi is a developmental robotics project based on the iCub humanoid robot. It is funded an as ANR Blanc project from 2010 to 2012.

YARP-ROS bridge

We are building a YARP-ROS bridge to connect bidirectionally YARP ports with ROS topics. The code is currently part of Macsi's software, so install it then read the documentation to make it work.


Eddhi aims at investigating the engagement of the human during interaction with iCub. It is funded by the Labex SMART from 09/2013 for a year.

Joints Torque sensors calibration

The following page describes the protocol of joints torque sensors calibration:

Technical information for the iCub users in ISIR Lab

Cluster configuration

  • configuration: here
  • script files and demos: here
  • libraries and environment variables: here

Installing iCub on your pc

To install all the software you need for developing, running the simulator, and eventually test your applications on the robot, just follow the instructions on the iCub Manual.

  • A more "verbose" guide to the installation, with pointers to the manual, is here
  • A short guide for installing iCub simulator in Ubuntu: pdf
  • Installing other libraries for iCub: here

To install more advanced software, for example for controlling whole-body movements of iCub and running whole-body simulations in XDE, you will need to install few more libraries:

  • Installing ORC framework: here
  • Installing ORCISIR framework: here

iCub Simulators

  • the official simulator of iCub based on ODE: installation
  • simulator based on python (Arboris-Python): installation and first steps
  • simulator based on XDE: installation and first steps

Writing code

Using iCub

All iCub users must read these instructions before using the iCub!

  • description of the setup in ISIR: here. This is useful for knowing the elements of the setup: robot, devices, console, power supplies, switches, emergency button.
  • starting yarp: here. This explains what to do to start yarp on the cluster - this must be done before starting the iCub.
  • starting iCub: here. This explains what to do to start the icub: connect to the pc104 and launch the iCubInterface to calibrate the iCub.
  • using iCub (basic): here. This explain how to use gyarpmanager or the python managers to start the basic modules of iCub - cartesian controllers, gaze controllers, wholeBodyDynamics.
  • using cameras: here. This explains how to launch the device modules for the cameras.
  • using iCub (advanced): here .. will come soon ..
  • using iCub with ROS (advanced): here .. will come soon ..
  • shutting down iCub: here. This explain how to shut down iCub properly.
the setup of iCubParis01

iCub diary

If you want to know what happened to the iCub during his first days in ISIR, you can read this page. The page is no longer maintained because now too many things happen :)

Note: a software/hardware log is kept on the desk close to the power supplies. This log/diary is used to keep track of updates (software, firmware, cluster config, ..), hardware/software issues and failures. If you notice something weird on iCub, or a failure happens, write down on it and then mail Serena immediately!


  • Francesco Nori is visiting our lab for one month (June 2013): iCub balanced on his feet and on one foot for the first time!
  • InnoRobo 2013. iCub videos were shown in GDR-Robotique's stand in Innorobo, Lyon, on March 2013.
  • AERES visit 2012. iCub was shown to the AERES committee with a live demo on November 2012.
  • Fete de la Science 2012. iCub performed for two days in October, during the Science festival organised by ISIR-UPMC
  • Fete de la Science 2011. iCub performed for two days in October, during the Science festival organised by ISIR-UPMC
  • CLAWAR 2011. iCub will be the focus of a workshop organized jointly with Clawar (see the website)
  • VES 2008. iCub in the ISIR-UPMC stand at the European city of Science expo, in Paris (see the video - with French comments)
  • ICT 2008. iCub meets its cousin from IIT in Lyon


Here some pictures of iCub!


YouTube channel - iCubParis

Acknowledgments for this guide: Serena Ivaldi

The old page (before may 2011) is still available here: here