HomeInfrastructuresThe Department of Robotics of LAAS | TERRINet


7 Avenue du Colonel Roche,
31400 Toulouse, France

The Department of Robotics of LAAS

Scientific Responsible
Philippe Soueres

The structure

The Robotics (ROB) Scientific Department conducts research along several themes involving perception, decision-making, motion, action, communication and interaction between the robot and its environment: the other robots, humans and ambient intelligence systems.
Research is conducted by ROB along four strategic streams: aerial and terrestrial field robotics, interactive and cognitive robotics, human and anthropomorphic motion, and algorithms for molecular motion.
These research activities involve also collaborative investigations with research on living systems such as neuroscience, cognitive sciences and biochemistry.

One main feature of robotics research at LAAS concerns the robot itself as an object of study i.e. an artificial entity endowed with integrated sensori-motor and cognitive abilities and acting in an open environment.

Research themes:
  • Environment perception and modeling,
  • Navigation, localization, motion planning and control,
  • Natural, artificial and virtual motion
  • Manipulation planning and control
  • Autonomous decision making, temporal planning, learning
  • Control architectures, embedded systems, robustness and fault tolerance
  • Human-robot multi-modal and decisional interaction
  • Multi-robot cooperation
Available platforms

Domotic house

Large experimental space reproducing the scenery of an apartment with an open roof. The environment is supplied with furniture amidst which various robots can navigate and execute daily tasks. The apartment is equipped with various sensors including a motion capture system for studying and experimenting human-robot interaction scenarios.

Technical Specifications




Optitrack, 14 high-resolution infrared cameras

Tracking Cameras


Key features

  • Four rooms separated by walls with open roof, supplied with furniture
  • The surface is covered with MOCAP
  • Pre-installed cabling paths to enable easy deployment of sensors

Possible applications

  • Human-Robot collaboration, cognitive robotics
  • Personal Robotics, Robot Companion
  • Assistive and Interactive Robotics
  • Ambient Intelligence
  • Service Robotics
Pyrene-Talos CNRS LAAS

Humanoid Robots

Two human size humanoid robots in a fully equipped experimental room. LAAS has a long time experience in humanoid robot motion planning and control. After having demonstrated whole-body motion generation capabilities on HRP-2, LAAS is now developing new algorithms to enable physical interaction of humanoid robots with their environment and with humans. The new robot robot Pyrène constructed by Pal Robotics based on the experience of LAAS is powerful and designed to be torque controlled.

Technical Specifications


1.54m, 58kg, 30DoF, RGBD, 6-axis IMU in the trunk, force sensors at feet and wrists, RGB-D cameras, walking speed max 2km/h constructed by Kawada robotics.


New generation humanoid robot constructed by Pal Robotics based on the experience of LAAS. 1.75m, 100kg, 32DoF, kinematic structure designed to increase manipulation capabilities, RGB-D camera, 6 axis IMU, force sensors in feet and wrists, torque sensor at each joint , position encoders at the level of motors and joints, last generation EtherCAT bus, control loop at 1KHz , i7 hyperthreaded CP, cooling system of CPU and motors, motor torques up to 300 Nm, motor rotation speed up to 56 RPM, harmonic drive reducers

Key features

  • Humanoid robot HRP-2 constructed by Kawada industry
  • Humanoid robot Pyrène, constructed by Pal Robotics
  • Advanced motion-planning and motion-generation software
  • Large experimental room reproducing parts of the environment of an industrial site. The experimental areal is fully covered by MOCAP

Possible applications

  • Motion planning
  • Whole-body motion generation
  • Physical interaction
  • Factory of the future
  • Humanoid robotics and biomechanics

Additional example of applications may be found here


Aerial Robots in a flight arena

Several models of flying robots, as quadrotors and hexarotors aerial robots, in a delimited flight arena of 6mx4mx5m (l,w,h) enclosed by a protective net. The ground is covered by protective mattresses. The arena is equipped with a motion capture system.

Technical Specifications


Number: 4, Mass: 1.3 Kg, Diameter: 75cm


Number: 2, Mass: 2 Kg ,Diameter: 115cm, Fully Actuated

Key features

  • 6m length × 4m width × 5m height flying secure area enclosed by a protective net
  • Ground covered by protective mattresses
  • 9 infrared cameras for motion tracking

Possible applications

  • Multi-robot planning and control
  • Aerial transportation
  • Monitoring and mapping
  • Aerial Manipulation
  • Aerial Inspection

Additional example of applications may be found here


Indoor Robots

Several models of indoor robot for navigation or manipulation equiped with specific sensors and motor capabilities.

Technical Specifications


Mobile Dual arm interaction robot by Willow Garage



Wheeled human-like interaction robot


Kuka arms



  • 2 PR2 robots
  • 1 Pepper
  • 2 Kuka arms
  • 1 wheeled platform for multisensory perception (binaural audio + vision)

Possible applications

  • Motion Planning, task planning, navigation, sensor-based control
  • Human-Robot Interaction, Robot Companion
  • Monitoring, assistance in public areas
  • Robot teammate, cobotics, factory of the future
  • Logistics

Additional example of applications may be found here


Motion Capture Facilities

Large experimental room equipped with an optoelectronic Motion Capture System to compute the position of reflective markers, force plates embedded in the floor to measure ground reaction forces, 6-axis force sensors to measure additional force contacts, wireless EMG to measure the activity of muscles. The system is provided with a processing software to reconstruct the whole-body dynamics and identify key elements of the musculoskeletal activity.

Technical Specifications


Several Optoelectronic systems (Optitrack, Vicon, Motion Analysis) including a networks of high-resolution infrared cameras and advanced data processing software.

Embedded force platforms

2 AMTI force platforms (180*90) and (45*45) useful for gait and postural analysis

force sensors

2 SENSIX K27x63F25270 6-axis force sensor, frequency 800Hz on each axis, simultaneous measurement extent: force-axes 1010 N, torque-axes 175 N.m

Wireless EMG

Mini wave from Cometa with 16 sensors equipped with 3D accelerometers


Nexus 2.7 for 3D reconstruction using Vicon

Key features

  • 14 High resolution infrared cameras providing accurate positioning of reflecting markers
  • Two force plates embedded in the floor to measure ground reaction forces
  • 2 additional 6-axis force sensors to record additional contact forces (e.g, at the hand)
  • 16 wireless EMG sensors
  • Ergocycle Lode excalibur with six cells sensors at the handlebars, the seat and the pedals
  • Isokinetic ergometer Biodex to quantify mechanical joint power, torque and/or velocity

Possible applications

  • Human Motion analysis and Biomechanics
  • Motion Ergonomics
  • Transfer of human movement to humanoid robots
  • Robot localization and state reconstruction
  • Virtual reality

Outdoor Robots

Three rover robots designed and equiped for outdoor navigation
– Two robots RMP 400 and 440
– One reobot Sterela

Technical Specifications

Max speed



100-130kg depending on models


Length 100cm, Width 70cm, height 130cm


LiPo batteries, about 1h autonomy

Key features

  • Centimetric GPS localization system
  • Several sensors for multisensory perception : lidar, color cameras, stereo-benches, IMU
  • Wireless airport Wi-Fi
  • Home-grown on-board modular software architecture

Possible applications

  • Field Robotics & Agriculture
  • Site surveillance and monitoring
  • Environment exploration, Intervention, research & rescue
  • Multi-Robot Collaboration
  • Transportation & Logistics

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730994


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