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Pinocchio instantiates the state-of-the-art Rigid Body Algorithms for poly-articulated systems based on revisited Roy Featherstone's algorithms. Besides, Pinocchio provides the analytical derivatives of the main Rigid-Body Algorithms like the Recursive Newton-Euler Algorithm or the Articulated-Body Algorithm.

Pinocchio is first tailored for robotics applications, but it can be used in extra contexts (biomechanics, computer graphics, vision, etc.). It is built upon Eigen for linear algebra and FCL for collision detection. Pinocchio comes with a Python interface for fast code prototyping, directly accessible through Conda.

Pinocchio is now at the heart of various robotics softwares as Crocoddyl, an open-source and efficient Differential Dynamic Programming solver for robotics, the Stack-of-Tasks, an open-source and versatile hierarchical controller framework or the Humanoid Path Planner, an open-source software for Motion and Manipulation Planning.

If you want to learn more on Pinocchio internal behaviors and main features, we invite you to read the related paper.

If you want to directly dive into Pinocchio, only one single line is sufficient (assuming you have Conda):

conda install pinocchio -c conda-forge


August 2020: We are hiring! We are looking for a talented C++/Python software developer to enhance and promote Pinocchio inside the robotics community and beyond. Please contact @jcarpent for further details.

Pinocchio main features

Pinocchio is fast:

  • C++ template library,
  • cache friendly,
  • automatic code generation support via CppADCodeGen.

Pinocchio is versatile, implementing basic and more advanced rigid body dynamics algorithms:

  • forward kinematics and its analytical derivatives,
  • forward/inverse dynamics and their analytical derivatives,
  • centroidal dynamics and its analytical derivatives,
  • support of multiple precision arithmetic via Boost.Multiprecision or any similar framework,
  • computations of kinematic and dynamic regressors for system identification and more,
  • and much more with the support of modern and open source Automatic Differentiation frameworks like CppAD or CasADi.

Pinocchio is flexible:

  • header only,
  • C++ 98/03/11/14/17/20 compliant.

Pinocchio is extensible.
Pinocchio is multi-thread friendly.
Pinocchio is reliable and extensively tested (unit-tests, simulations and real world robotics applications).
Pinocchio is supported and tested on Windows, Mac OS X, Unix and Linux (see build status here).


Pinocchio exploits at best the sparsity induced by the kinematic tree of robotics systems. Thanks to modern programming language paradigms, Pinocchio is able to unroll most of the computations directly at compile time, allowing to achieve impressive performances for a large range of robots, as illustrated by the plot below, obtained on a standard laptop equipped with an Intel Core i7 CPU @ 2.4 GHz.

Pinocchio Logo

For other benchmarks, and mainly the capacity of Pinocchio to exploit at best your CPU capacities using advanced code generation techniques, we refer to the technical paper. In addition, the introspection done here may also help you to understand and compare the performances of the modern rigid body dynamics librairies.

Ongoing developments

If you want to follow the current developments, you can directly refer to the devel branch. The master branch only contains latest release. Any new Pull Request should then be submitted on the devel branch.


Pinocchio can be easily installed on various Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, etc.) and Unix distributions (Mac OS X, BSD, etc.). Please refer to the installation procedure.

If you only need the Python bindings of Pinocchio, you may prefer to install it through Conda. Please follow the procedure described here.

Pinocchio is also deployed on ROS, you may follow its deployment status on Melodic or Kinetic.


The online Pinocchio documentation of the last release is available here.


We provide some basic examples on how to use Pinocchio in Python in the examples/python directory. Additional examples introducing Pinocchio are also available in the documentation


Pinocchio comes with a large bunch of tutorials aiming at introducing the basic tools for robotics control. The content of the tutorials is described here.


Pinocchio provides support for many open-source and free visualizers:

  • Gepetto Viewer: a C++ viewer based on OpenSceneGraph with Python bindings and Blender export. See here for a C++ example on mixing Pinocchio and Gepetto Viewer.
  • Meshcat: supporting visualization in Python and which can be embeded inside any browser.
  • Panda3d: supporting visualization in Python and which can be embeded inside any browser.

Many external viewers can also be integrated. See example here for more information.

Citing Pinocchio

To cite Pinocchio in your academic research, please use the following bibtex lines:

   author = {Justin Carpentier and Florian Valenza and Nicolas Mansard and others},
   title = {Pinocchio: fast forward and inverse dynamics for poly-articulated systems},
   howpublished = {},
   year = {2015--2020}

and the following one for the reference to the paper introducing Pinocchio:

   title={The Pinocchio C++ library -- A fast and flexible implementation of rigid body dynamics algorithms and their analytical derivatives},
   author={Carpentier, Justin and Saurel, Guilhem and Buondonno, Gabriele and Mirabel, Joseph and Lamiraux, Florent and Stasse, Olivier and Mansard, Nicolas},
   booktitle={IEEE International Symposium on System Integrations (SII)},

The algorithms for the analytical derivatives of rigid-body dynamics algorithms are detailed here:

  title = {Analytical Derivatives of Rigid Body Dynamics Algorithms},
  author = {Carpentier, Justin and Mansard, Nicolas},
  booktitle = {Robotics: Science and Systems},
  year = {2018}

Questions and Issues

You have a question or an issue? You may either directly open a new issue or use the mailing list [email protected].


The following people have been involved in the development of Pinocchio and are warmly thanked for their contributions:

If you have taken part to the development of Pinocchio, feel free to add your name and contribution in this list.


The development of Pinocchio is actively supported by the Gepetto team @LAAS-CNRS and the Willow team @INRIA.

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