Project blaar


Basic Libraries And Applications for Robotics

The goal of this light framework is to provide helpers and shortcuts with few abstractions letting you know what you are doing. You are free to mix it with any low level code. The drawback is that you have to know what you are doing which is good in robotics. The modules are minimalist in purpose. If you want more you are advised to use specialized libraries or tools but blaar should be helpful to make the integration.

BLAAR is open source CeCILL v2.1 (compatible GPL v2). BLAAR should work on POSIX systems. GNU/Linux (Ubuntu/Raspbian), Darwin (Mac OSX) and Bionic (Android not usable yet). BLAAR is still under development, it is not stable yet but feel free to ask improvement or notify issues.



Most of these modules are installed by default (otherwise see below for installation)

  • bapps: Basic Applications for C/C++ with no dependency to manipulate blc_channels (find max, generate oscillators, ...). (no requirement)
  • gnuplot Allows to make graphs from data of blc_channels (require gnuplot)
  • gtk Provides a graphical user interface. For now, it displays images. (require gtk)
  • png Saves and loads png images. (require libpng)
  • sndfile Reads and writes sound files in with many sound formats (require libsndfile)

Specific Linux

  • asound Acquire or produce sound using Advanced Linux Sound Architecture library (require libasounddev).
  • i_v4l2_camera Acquire images from a camera using Video 4 Linux library (require libv4l2dev).

Specific Mac OSX

  • coreaudio Acquire or produce sound using Apple Core Audio Frameworks
  • i_AV_camera Acquire images from cameras using Audio Video Foundation

Specific raspberry pi

The Linux of raspberry (raspbian) can be used like ubuntu but it has more functionalities to manage input outputs that why there is a specific package.

In development

  • blc_server Create a server to monitor blc_channels


Adding submodules

You will only have basic framework. You may add submodules as needed. To add modules use : git submodule add <module repository>. Once you have added a module, install it with ./ <module>|all all install all your cloned modules at once.

Example, install 'fftw' package:

git submodule add
./ fftw

You need to have installed the required package. Usually indicated in the README.

Update the installation


This will download the new code and install it for blaar and each submodule

Execution of programs

<binary> [--help] [args ...] The availble blaar binaries are in bin/ directory. All the binaries accept the --help option which shows a description of the project and details of possible others options. You can also use scripts which run a combinaison of binaries and other scripts. They are in scripts/ directory and accept the -h option which shows a description of the project and details of possible others options.


In scripts/ you have bash scripts which combine applications to produce higher level functionalities. They may require you add optional modules.


blibs - Basic Libraries

These libraries are a set of basic tools simplifying programmation. The programmer keeps full control on the program. You have shortcuts for classical functionalities and very little abstractions. You can freely mix blibs and low level C/C++ functions.

blc are basic libraries for C/C++ with no specific requirement

  • blc_core : Generic helpers in C or C++ used by all other blaar projects
  • blc_channel : Tools to use shared memory in synchrone ( in test) and asynchrone mode
  • blc_image : Manipulate blc_array as images. Can load and save them as png files
  • blc_program : Parse arguments and interacts with user in commandline.

To get details about compilation and documentation of the functions, see developement.

SEE ALSO sound examples | git FAQ | blaar FAQ


Other documentation

How to cite

   author =   {Arnaud Blanchard},
   title =    {{BLAAR} : {Basic Libraries And Applications for Robotics}},
   organization = {ETIS Laboratory, Cergy-Pontoise, 95000 FRANCE},
   howpublished = {url{}},
   year = {2014--2018}