Free Software Foundation

GNU Robots

What's new:

7/15/00: Tim Northover has agreed to become the new maintainer of GNU Robots!. Please send all new patches to Tim.

6/25/00: Version 1.0D of GNU Robots has been checked into CVS on the GNU server! You can browse the GNU CVS repository using CVSWeb or using Anonymous CVS access.

Current release is: GNU Robots 1.0D

To build, you will also need to have a recent copy of GNU Guile

GNU Robots is a game/diversion where you construct a program for a little robot, then watch him explore a world. The world is filled with baddies that can hurt you, objects that you can bump into, and food that you can eat. The goal of the game is to collect as many prizes as possible before are killed by a baddie or you run out of energy. GNU Robots (including source) will be released under the GNU General Public License.

The GNU Robots playing field is filled with food (increases energy), prizes (to increase your score), walls (which you can bump into), and baddies (which can inflict damage.)

To make the program easier to design and implement, I have decided to let the robot program be written in a text file, so that advanced programmers don't have to limit themselves to a visual programming interface. The language will be Scheme, which provides for flexibility in writing your programs. For non-programmers, there will also be a visual programming interface, which will generate Scheme code.

GNU Robots uses GNU Guile as the language back-end (Scheme). This will make the GNU Robots game engine more consistent with other GNU projects, as it will use the same extension language.

For a list of features that will find its way into GNU Robots, please see the release plan.

For a list of current features, please see the documentation.

Answers to your other questions will be found in the FAQ.

If you would like to help with GNU Robots, please read my to do list. There is really one key missing piece in GNU Robots: I had originally envisioned a "visual" programming interface for GNU Robots, one where you could create a robot program by dropping into place icons that represent the robot's actions. There would be one icon to tell the robot to move forward, another to have him turn to the left or right, and another to have him pick up things or fire his little gun.

This programming interface would really just act as a kind of code generator; it would write a Scheme program that you could then load into GNU Robots. Writing this in GTK+ would seem like a good idea.

Return to GNU's home page.

Please send FSF & GNU inquiries & questions to There are also other ways to contact the FSF.

Please send comments on these web pages to, send other questions to

Copyright © 1998,1999,2000 Jim Hall.

Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

Updated: $Date: 2006/11/24 08:25:37 $ $Author: ramprasadb $