In need for some AI/robotics exploration but no access to a physical robot? No problem.

Pierre Rouanet
Published in
3 min readApr 24, 2020


Let’s be honest, saying we all got a little bit bored at some point during the Great Lockdown would be this year’s greatest understatement. And to be even more honest, we’re going to get even more bored, since said lockdown isn’t coming to an end anytime soon (so we hear).

But with overwhelming boredom comes great creativity (and some weight gain). So we thought it would be very cool to make Reachy, our open source humanoid robot accessible to as many people as possible.

That’s why we’re releasing a simulation tool to send Python-based commands and see results on a fully open source Reachy robot 3D model.

Reachy was designed using CAD but we decided to import its 3D model in blender to make the robot 3D assets available to the creative community of artists, game designer, video makers or whoever wants to have fun with a virtual robot!

But we didn’t stop there. We imported this model in Unity to create a simulation tool that lets you control the 3D model like you would control the real robot, using the same Python API.

Go on, give it a try!

The simulator is available online. We’ve set up Reachy in a beach somewhere relaxing where social distancing feels OK. You can easily navigate the 3D scene to inspect Reachy from every angle.

To control the robot, you will need to install our Python’s package, which requires Python 3 and a few classical dependencies. Once done, you will be able to control each motor independently and create complex sequences of motions. The only limit is your imagination!

Program physical/digital Reachy using the same Python’s API

Check out Pollen Robotics’ playground for full instructions:

Are you good at Unity?

We are working on tightening the gap between the real robot and the simulation. For instance, we want Reachy’s cameras to be supported to bring interaction to the mix, and add physics so it can grab objects and much more…

We are fairly new to Unity and if you feel like you can contribute, let us know! We want to release Reachy as an open-source Unity package but we’re not sure of the best way to do it.

Don’t forget to do your homework

Not only do we enjoy it, we actually need your feedback on this simulator. We want to know if our API will integrate well with your tools. So let’s collaborate and improve it together.

About Pollen Robotics

We build accessible and open-source technology for the real world.

For new technology to have a positive impact, transparency and cooperation matter. Back in 2013, we started with Poppy, the first 3D printed open-source humanoid robot and since then, we have been dedicated to creating open-source, open science and open data products. We work with scientists, artists and innovators to explore usages and make the robotics revolution an opportunity for everyone.

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