Install and Setup


The installation instructions are for the core package of RoboSherlock. This does NOT contain the knowledge-based reasoning mechanisms and the question-answering. These will be released separately, in order to keep dependencies of the core package at a minimum.

The recommended operating system is Ubuntu 14.04 LTS or Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. RoboSherlock comes as a ROS package, so you will need to install ROS Indigo (desktop full) or ROS Kinetic. Installation instructions can be found on the ROS homepage and setup a catkin workspace as described here.

These instructions are valid for the core package of RoboSherlock which you can get from the GitHub page:

git clone

Check out the repository into your catkin workspace. Before compiling you need to set up the dependencies for the project.

Get dependencies

The following packages should be installed:

sudo apt-get install automake libxerces-c-dev libicu-dev libapr1-dev mongodb scons openjdk-7-jdk


RoboSherlock heavily depends on algorithms implemented in OpenCV and PCL. For the current release we used the default versions that are included in ROS on Ubuntu 14.04 or Ubuntu 16.04.

Get uimacpp and install to /usr/local or any other folder that is in your LD_LIBRARY_PATH and PATH. Uimacpp expects the Java headers in /usr/lib/jvm/java-[version]-openjdk-amd64/include, so depending on your OS you might need to create symlinks for the header files located in the /usr/lib/jvm/java-8-openjdk-amd64/include/linux (i.e. java 7 and 6 come with symlinks 8 and 9 don’t). In the command below replace the version of OpenJdk with the one you have installed:

git clone uimacpp
cd uimacpp
./configure --without-activemq --with-jdk=/usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-amd64/include --prefix=/usr/local --with-icu=/usr
sudo make install

If all went correct /usr/local/lib will contain

Get mongo-cxx-driver (branch 26compat) and install to /usr/local. Under Ubuntu 16.04 use –disable-warnings-as-errors so that you can compile with gcc5+:

git clone
cd mongo-cxx-driver/
git checkout 26compat
sudo scons --full --use-system-boost --prefix=/usr/local --ssl --sharedclient --disable-warnings-as-errors install-mongoclient

Set up Bash

Put the right paths into your ~/.bashrc.:

export APR_HOME=/usr
export ICU_HOME=/usr
export XERCES_HOME=/usr

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib:${LD_LIBRARY_PATH}

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.


You can either use catkin_make or the rsmake build script provided in robosherlock/scripts/ to compie robosherlock (and the rest of your workspace). Passing one of deb, reb, rel will build your catkin workspace in debug, release with debug symbols or release.

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