Artoo is a micro-framework for robotics using Ruby.

Artoo provides a simple, yet powerful domain-specific language (DSL) for robotics and physical computing.

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Arduino with an LED and a button, using the Firmata protocol.

require 'artoo'

connection :arduino, :adaptor => :firmata, :port => '/dev/tty.usbmodemxxxxx'
device :led, :driver => :led, :pin => 13
device :button, :driver => :button, :pin => 2

work do
  on button, :push => proc {led.toggle}

Parrot ARDrone 2.0

require 'artoo'

connection :ardrone, :adaptor => :ardrone
device :drone, :driver => :ardrone

work do

  after(25.seconds) { }
  after(30.seconds) { drone.stop }


You can also write more modular class-oriented code, that allows you to control swarms of robots:

require 'artoo/robot'

SPHEROS = ["4567", "4568", "4569", "4570", "4571"]

class SpheroRobot < Artoo::Robot
  connection :sphero, :adaptor => :sphero
  device :sphero, :driver => :sphero

  work do
    every(3.seconds) do
      sphero.roll 90, rand(360)

robots = []
SPHEROS.each {|p|
  robots << => 
                              {:sphero => 
                                {:port => p}})

Ruby versions supported: Ruby 2.0, Ruby 1.9.3, JRuby 1.7.4, and Rubinius 2.0-rc1

Artoo is conceptualy influenced by Sinatra ( as well as borrowing some code from it.

Artoo provides a robust actor-based messaging architecture, that can support fully multi-threaded operation and high-concurrency, as long as it is supported by the Ruby version in which it is executing. This means you will need to use JRuby or Rubinius for maximum concurrency.

To a large extent, this is due to being built on top of Celluloid (, Celluloid::IO (, and Reel (

Hardware support:

Artoo has a extensible system for connecting to hardware devices. The following robotics and physical computing platforms are currently supported:

More platforms are coming soon!

Do you have some hardware that is not yet supported by Artoo? We want to help you, help us, help them! Get in touch...

Getting Started:


gem install artoo

Then install the gems required by the hardware you want to use. For example, if you wanted to integrate a Wiiclassic controller connected to an Arduino to fly your ARDrone:

gem install artoo-arduino
gem install artoo-ardrone

If you will be using socket to serial commuication (required if you will use JRuby or Rubinius), you are ready to start programming your hardware.

If you want to connect via serial port directly, and are using MRI, install the hybridgroup-serialport gem:

gem install hybridgroup-serialport

Writing your robot code:

Now you are ready to write your own code. Take a look at the examples directory for a whole bunch of code you can use to help get started. We recommend using TDR (Test-Driven Robotics) with your preferred test frameworks.

Running your robot:

ruby myrobot.rb


Artoo includes a RESTful API to query the status of any robot running within a group, including the connection and device status, and device streaming data via websockets.

To activate the API, use the api command like this:

require 'artoo'

connection :loop
device :passthru
api :host => '', :port => '4321'

work do
  puts "Hello from the API running at #{api_host}:#{api_port}..."

Once the robot or group is working, you can view the main API page at the host and port specified.

Test-Driven Robotics:

Artoo makes it easy to do Test Driven Development (TDD) of your robotic devices using your favorite Ruby test and mocking frameworks.

Here is an example that uses Minitest and Mocha:

describe 'sphero' do
  let(:robot) { }

  it 'has work to do every 3 seconds' do

    robot.has_work?(:every, 3.seconds).wont_be_nil

  it 'must roll every 3 seconds' do
    sleep 6.1

  it 'receives collision event' do
    robot.sphero.publish("collision", "clunk")
    sleep 0.1

to describe the following Sphero robot:

require 'artoo'

connection :sphero, :adaptor => :sphero, :port => ''
device :sphero, :driver => :sphero

def contact(*args)
  @contacts ||= 0
  @contacts += 1
  puts "Contact #{@contacts}"

work do
  on sphero, :collision => :contact

  every(3.seconds) do
    puts "Rolling..."
    sphero.roll 90, rand(360)


Artoo has a Command Line Interface (CLI) so you can access important features right from the command line.

$ artoo
  artoo console ROBOT                # run a robot using the Robi console
  artoo generate SUBCOMMAND ...ARGS  # Generates a new robot or adaptor
  artoo help [COMMAND]               # Describe available commands or one specific command
  artoo version                      # Displays the current version


Artoo includes Robi, a console based on Pry ( to allow you to interactively debug and control your robot.

$ artoo console ./examples/hello.rb 
         run  robi ./examples/hello.rb from "."
I, [2013-07-03T17:11:35.793913 #5527]  INFO -- : Registering connection 'loop'...
I, [2013-07-03T17:11:35.794939 #5527]  INFO -- : Preparing work...
robi> start
Starting main robot...
I, [2013-07-03T17:11:48.950888 #5527]  INFO -- : Initializing connection loop...
I, [2013-07-03T17:11:48.955804 #5527]  INFO -- : Starting work...
I, [2013-07-03T17:11:48.956152 #5527]  INFO -- : Connecting to 'loop' on port '#<Artoo::Port:0xfea0>'...
robi> list
robi> hello
robi> stop
Stopping robots...
robi> exit
D, [2013-07-03T17:12:04.413060 #5527] DEBUG -- : Terminating 7 actors...
D, [2013-07-03T17:12:04.414300 #5527] DEBUG -- : Shutdown completed cleanly


Want to integrate a new kind of hardware devices for which there is not an Artoo adaptor yet? You can easily generate a new skeleton Artoo adaptor to help you get started! Simply run the 'artoo generate adaptor' command, and the generator will create a new directory with all of the files in place for your new adaptor gem.


Check out our wiki for more docs


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request

(c) 2012-2013 The Hybrid Group