Main Content

Set Up URSim Offline Simulator for ROS 2

Universal Robots provides a software emulator URSim, to test and validate motion planning and control algorithms using offline programming and simulation of robot programs. More information on the features and limitations of URSim can be found on this  webpage .


For the complete model based design workflow involving MATLAB® simulation, verification with URSim, and connectivity with UR series hardware, we recommend Linux® host with MATLAB and ROS. The URSim can be installed in the virtual machine running on Linux host to avoid any unintentional changes to the Linux host.

Configure URSim

URSim is an offline simulator by Universal Robots. The functionality of URSim is almost identically to a real cobot connected over the network. This workflow focuses on setting up the Docker for URSim. The external control and network setup are configured by Universal Robots and included as a script in the ur_client_library package.

To launch URSim from the Docker:

  1. Source the ROS 2 Humble from Linux terminal

    source /opt/ros/humble/setup.bash
  2. Run this script to launch URSim.

    ros2 run ur_client_library

After URSim is launched, go to Program tab, and click URCaps > External Control to add the External Control URCap (which is already available in the package).

Verify the successful addition of the External Control URCap, which gets listed under the Robot Program node.

Troubleshooting URSim

If the URSim is not available in VNC bowser, try these steps:

  • Refresh the browser tab where it is running.

  • If the issue still persists, kill the existing docker running in Linux terminal and relaunch URSim using this command:

    $ ros2 run ur_client_library