The Universal Robot Data Format (URDF) is an increasingly common way to represent the kinematic structure and visual appearance of robots. It is widely used in the ROS software ecosystem. A URDF file is an XML format file and a number of specialized tags.

I’ve not found a particularly helpful or readable tutorial hence I wrote my own. We start with an introduction to XML and then progressively introduce URDF: kinematics, visual appearance and finally kinematics and appearance.

Example XML, URDF and MATLAB LiveScripts are also provided.

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Understanding URDF with MATLAB