Installation instructions

The recommended operating system for building RoboSherlock is Ubuntu 20.04 or Ubuntu 18.04. RoboSherlock comes as a ROS stack, so you will need to install ROS Noetic, ROS Melodic or ROS Kinetic. Installation instructions can be found on the ROS homepage and setting up a catkin workspace is described here.

The following instructions are valid for the current noetic, melodic or kinetic branches of the core package of RoboSherlock which you can get from the GitHub page. For previous versions see below. Go to your catkin workspace’s src folder and check out the repository.

For ROS Noetic run:

git clone -b noetic --recursive
git clone -b noetic-devel # fixes problems with old depth image formats

If you are using ROS Melodic run:

git clone -b melodic --recursive

For ROS Kinetic run:

git clone -b kinetic --recursive

Install the dependencies:

cd robosherlock
rosdep install --from-path . --ignore-src

Set up Bash

It is recommended to add the [..]/robosherlock/scripts/ folder to your PATH. This way you can easily access some convenience scripts, for e.g. creating a new annotator, or a new ROS package that depends on RoboSherlock.


We recommend using catkin tools to compile your workspace but you can use catkin_make as well.


Catkin tries to max out the amount of compilation processes based on the available CPU cores. In general this is a good thing, but you might run out of memory if you have a lot of CPU ores but only a few Gigabytes of RAM. If you run out of memory during compilation, try to reduce the amount of build process with catkin build -jX where X is an integer defining the number of parallel build processes.

Check out Running a pipeline in RoboSherlock for details about how to run a small demo.

Installing and Running the query-answering

In order to use the query-answering capabilities of RoboSherlock to the fulles installing Knowrob is recommended. While basic query answering capabilities are working with the internal SWI-PROLOG engine, KnowRob offers more capabilities:

Knowrob: Follow the official installation guide for the Knowrob Installation, which can be found on their installation page.


the latest versions of KnowRob are currently not compatible with RoboSherlock, due to a conflicting SWI-PROLOG versions.

Check out Use queries to control the pipeline for details about how to use the query-answering.


The noetic, melodic and kinetic branches are there only for releasing and mainting a stable version. To contribute to the project use the master branch. Changes made to the master will periodically be merged into the release branches. Fork the repository on github, create a new branch based on master, make your changes and open a pull request. Direct changes to the release branches will only be merged if they are specific to a that release.

To compile the master branch you might need to install dependencies manually, since a common package.xml can not be maintained for both distributions.

Previous versions

Install and Setup (v0.1)

Install and Setup (v1.0)