CoppeliaSim's library

CoppeliaSim offers a wide range of functionality via its graphical user interface. For more customized scenarios where fine-grained control of the simulation loop is required (e.g. reinforcement learning), it also offers the flexibility to be used as a library within custom programs.

Using CoppeliaSim as a library consists in loading the CoppeliaSim's library (regular or headless library):

  • Windows: LoadLibrary("coppeliaSim.dll") / LoadLibrary("coppeliaSimHeadless.dll")
  • Linux: dlopen("") / dlopen("")
  • macOS: dlopen("libcoppeliaSim.dylib") / dlopen("libcoppeliaSimHeadless.dylib")
  • then creating a secondary thread (the simulation thread), and:

  • calling simInitialize to initialize.
  • calling any other API functions, and/or calling simLoop until simGetExitRequest returns false
  • calling simDeinitialize before termination.
  • Finally, in the main thread (the UI thread), calling simRunGui. Argument to simRunGui can be used to toggle on/off individual part of the interface (use sim_gui_all to enable all), or to run in GUI suppression mode (sim_gui_headless).

    When using the headless library, there is no need to create a secondary thread, or call simRunGui

    C++ client

    The default main client application that comes with the installation package is a C++ application: coppeliaSimClient, but also available in <CoppeliaSim folder>/programming/. It compiles to coppeliaSim.exe (Windows), or coppeliaSim (macOSX and Linux).

    Python client

    A complete working example of loading the CoppeliaSim library in Python is given in coppeliaSimClientPython, but also available in <CoppeliaSim folder>. From your command line:

    $ python3 ./ --help (display run options) $ python3 ./ (run CoppeliaSim with GUI and local coppeliaSim lib) $ python3 ./ -O=0 (run CoppeliaSim with minimalistic GUI and local coppeliaSim lib) $ python3 ./ -h (run CoppeliaSim with emulated headless mode and local coppeliaSim lib) $ python3 ./ -H (run CoppeliaSim with true headless mode and local coppeliaSimHeadless lib) $ python3 ./ -L <path/to/CoppeliaSim/library> (run CoppeliaSim with specific lib)

    In this section, relevant parts are explained.


    Module coppeliaSim.lib handles the load and setup of core functions (simInitialize, simDeinitialize, etc...) via ctypes.

    import builtins import os import threading from ctypes import * # set the path to the coppeliaSim's library: builtins.coppeliasim_library = "/path/to/" # import the coppeliaSim's library functions: from coppeliasim.lib import * appDir = os.path.dirname(builtins.coppeliasim_library) # start the sim thread (see in the next section) if trueHeadless: simThreadFunc(appDir) else: t = threading.Thread(target=simThreadFunc, args=(appDir,)) t.start() simRunGui(sim_gui_all) # use sim_gui_headless for headless mode t.join()

    SIM thread loop

    The basic implementation of simThreadFunc simply executes the application until quit is requested:

    def simThreadFunc(appDir): simInitialize(c_char_p(appDir.encode('utf-8')), 0) while not simGetExitRequest(): simLoop(None, 0) simDeinitialize()

    Another possible scenario would be to manually control the operations used to setup a simulation environment (e.g. sim.loadScene) and to execute a simulation, e.g. by manually stepping for a predetermined amount of steps:

    def simThreadFunc(appDir): simInitialize(c_char_p(appDir.encode('utf-8')), 0) # script bridge, see next section import coppeliasim.bridge coppeliasim.bridge.load() global sim sim = coppeliasim.bridge.require('sim') sim.loadScene('path/to/scene.ttt') simStart() for i in range(1000): t = sim.getSimulationTime() print(f'Simulation time: {t:.2f} [s] (running in stepped mode)') simStep() simStop() simDeinitialize() def simStart(): if sim.getSimulationState() == sim.simulation_stopped: sim.startSimulation() def simStep(): if sim.getSimulationState() != sim.simulation_stopped: t = sim.getSimulationTime() while t == sim.getSimulationTime(): simLoop(None, 0) def simStop(): while sim.getSimulationState() != sim.simulation_stopped: sim.stopSimulation() simLoop(None, 0)


    The coppeliaSim.bridge module provides seamless access to the regular API used by scripts, e.g.:

    import coppeliasim.bridge # load the bridge component: coppeliasim.bridge.load() # fetch API objects: sim = coppeliasim.bridge.require('sim') # e.g.: use some API function: program_version = sim.getInt32Param(sim.intparam_program_full_version)

    Refer to coppeliaSimClientPython/ for the complete code.