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Underactuated Robotics

Drake is being used to teach Underactuated Robotics at MIT. The course textbook has numerous examples of modeling, controlling, and analyzing many of the canonical problems in dynamics and control for robotics.


The Robotics team at TRI is working hard to close the gap between simulation and reality. For manipulation, one important piece is accurate simulation of rigid-body contact.

Source Code: drake/examples/kuka_iiwa_arm

Manipulation class at MIT

Drake is being used to teach a new course on manipulation at MIT. The course software and materials give a complete autonomous manipulation pipeline, including deep and geometric perception, planning, and control. Here is a highlight video of the class “manipulation station” (the three views are rendered from the RGB-D cameras mounted on the station):

Source Code: drake/examples/manipulation_station

Trajectory Optimization

Michael Posa and the UPenn DAIR lab have an implementation of DIRCON, as described in

Michael Posa, Scott Kuindersma, Russ Tedrake. “Optimization and Stabilization of Trajectories for Constrained Dynamical Systems.” ICRA, 2016.

Source Code:

Task and Motion Planning

Caelan Garrett has examples using Drake in his STRIPStream/PDDLStream task-and-motion-planning framework.

Source Code:

Modelling Closed Loop Topologies

Drake has examples of combining its rigid body kinematic tree dynamics with penalty forces to model a closed loop topology, such as a four bar linkage.

Four Bar Source Code:

Strandbeest Source Code:

Third Party Documentation / Tutorials

Greg’s Tutorial (Python)

Greg Izatt put together a nice tutorial demonstrating how to put together a pretty complete simulation of kuka iiwa picking up a block with dynamics, planning, control, and depth sensing, all through the pydrake interface.

Source Code:

Zhaoyuan’s Tutorial (Drake concepts, C++ examples)

Zhaoyuan Gu learned Drake from scratch as a 2019 TRI summer intern and wrote this beginner’s tutorial: