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Top 6 Programming Languages to Learn for Robotics

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Robotics technology (you can also say robotics for better understanding) is a point where the strengths of science, technology, and engineering combine together with a purpose of producing machines i.e. robots imitating the behavior and potential of a human being. As per the statistics of Allied Market Research, the global robotics market size will affordably grow up to 189.36 billion dollars by the year 2027. Does this not mean that industries of various sectors like automobile, healthcare, defence and security, etc. will adopt robotics and integrate it with those applications serving a wider range of objectives bound to growth and awareness, even in this COVID era full of complications??


Indeed, for achieving such complex and time-based objectives, robots need to be trained so that they may understand how to respond to changing environments which is possible through robot programming. Curious to know how will it make a robot really self-learning? From planning an event to attending patients in a hospital, all this can be done amazingly by those self-learning robots once their capabilities are extended or detailed changes are made in their designs. And to see that magic in real-time, programming languages for robotics need to be learned. Let’s take a tour of those top 6 programming languages which can solve common problems your robot acquires and replace them with solutions most businesses and customers expect:

1. C/C++

Learning the basic syntax and functions of C/C++ is helpful if you are serious about creating your own programmable robot and stretching its performance so that it may respond proactively and accurately in high complexity environments. Though it takes a lot of time to write a C or C++ program, yet you can access:

  • a complete robotics library that interacts potentially with low-level hardware.  
  • and because both languages are standard languages in the field of robotics, it can quickly establish a relationship with robot kinematics, motion planning, visualization, and collision detection.  

Hence, the more you learn to develop and write C/C++ programs, the better it will be for you to analyze, understand, and improve the dynamic behavior of a robot bound to position, velocity, and acceleration.


LISP, packed with fully-featured industry-standard LISP packages, is a high-level programming language with which you can control the movement of robots. Also, using LISP in any of your upcoming robotics projects will give you a taste of:

  • how in real-time one can develop many robot control functions and implement them in an error-free manner?
  • And no need to worry about access permissions since LISP with its packages and libraries can handle them well.

Eager to program your robot via LISP whose architecture is language-independent just like C++ & Java? All you should be doing is introduce yourself to manipulation of functions used in LISP codes which can control every type of movement like arm, leg, or head movement.

3. Java

Java indeed is one of the most in-demand programming languages next to Python. Nowadays, people of the data science and robotics community are accepting Java to implement machine learning solutions. It will help robots proactively understand data patterns without any obstacles. With Java:

  • developers can dramatically broaden a robot’s capabilities.
  • Also, if you are using the tools and libraries of Java, then there is no need to program your robot explicitly for predicting outcomes of increased accuracy.

So, you may now ask, “Is it good to use Java for robotics?”. Yes, one of the examples which demonstrate the use of Java is Computer Vision with Java & OpenCV (you can use C++ instead of Java but it will fail to achieve what you want in terms of robotics) and write your image processing code using Java. 

Later, you can execute it on Raspberry Pi having a camera connected. 

4. C# (.NET)

C#(.NET) and its libraries like Machina.NET and ROS.NET are popularly used by many robot developers for controlling robots in real-time. Also, the language is license-permissive means you can use C# with the least restrictions in any of your robotic projects. Besides, this programming language:

  • won’t change the key functionalities of your robot.
  • Also, anyone interested in making his/her career in robotics and boosting it by creating apps for any type of robot must be well-versed with its IDEs, tools, and libraries.    

But to create service-oriented and lightweight applications for your robot, you must have a good knowledge of Microsoft robotics studio. With this framework, you have an opportunity to test simulations of your robots during runtime whose solutions are attractive in terms of visualization and learnings with lesser or no investments. 

5. Python

Just like Java, Python is an interpreted programming language that can potentially create, compute, or activate post-process robot programs faster with its easy-to-use libraries. Thinking what is the benefit of those programs!! Through them, it becomes easier:

  • to help your robot adapt to a specific motion style you want.
  • However, such programs aren’t a good option when it comes to enhancing the performance of critical parts of your robot like sensors, actuators.  

There, offline robot programming with its intuitive and user-friendly steps would be a wiser choice in testing various critical parts of your robot and then, flexibly integrating them with CAM/CAD software. In a nutshell, Python works fine when you need to test rapidly the robotic applications with basic functionalities at less computation power and minimal time constraints.


MATLAB is your jack of robotics. It is because, with its impeccable open-source programming environment, various robotics researchers, engineers, developers, and programmers can:

  • design, test, and simulate the apps necessary to make your robot (humanoid or autonomous) more flexible and productive.
  • For mobile robots, MATLAB offers a comprehensive toolkit for forward and inverse kinematics of humanoid or mobile robots, motion control, and various Algos for trajectory generation and collision-tracking. 

Planning to develop a user-friendly prototype of a robot? All you should do is apply now the fundamentals of robotics in MATLAB and connect yourself with its libraries analyzing well data in real-time.  

Bonus – Arduino

Arduino is an inexpensive, cross-platform, and clear way to program a robot so that it can dance in a way you like. And to keep playing this dance game further, Arduino programming codes can be used whose methods and special functions like sketch(), setup(), and loop() can operate a robot flexibly even in the most extreme conditions. Besides, Arduino offers:

  • Arduino robot toolkit connecting well sensors, actuators, and control systems of your robot to upgrade its functionalities.
  • Built-in C++ libraries for simplifying everyday tasks of any of your robotic projects.

So, if you are learning robotics and willing to use your learnings in solving real-life challenges, it would be wiser to know everything about Arduino, its toolkit, and libraries so that the robot you are using can respond purposefully to the objects surrounding it thereby fulfilling the requirements of various businesses and their users in an artificially intelligent manner.

Last Updated : 21 Dec, 2021
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