Robot Programming Languages

A robot will require a programming language for describing the operations that are to be done. Recently, there are plenty of robot programming languages available. Among them, five robot languages are commonly and basically used. They are:

  • RAIL
  • AML
  • VAL
  • AL
  • RPL


RAIL will be a best language for controlling two major tasks such as the manipulation and vision system. It is a high – level robot language based on Pascal, and it will implement a Motorola–68000 central processor, teach pendant, and terminal. This language was designed by Automatix for arc welding and inspection purposes.

RAIL comes with three different kinds of systems, namely:

  • Hitachi Process Robot – Arc Welding
  • Cartesian Arm – Assembly functions
  • Vision system without arm


AML (A Manufacturing Language) is a high level language based on sub routine, which is mainly implemented to manage RS / 1 Assembly Robot, End Effectors Active Force Feedback, and Cartesian Arm with hydraulic motors. The RS / 1 assembly robot incorporates a mini – computer (IBM Series/1), 192 KB memory, matrix printer, disk drive, display terminals, and keyboard. AML was developed by IBM Corporation for robot programming. An important reason for creating this language is to offer simple subsets and as well as powerful base language.


VAL (Variable Assembly Language) Robot Programming Language is adopted mainly for Unimation Robots. As this language is designed with simple syntax, it is capable of illustrating the robot functions very easily. It includes two major tasks such as:

  • Program instructions are used to provide VAL programs in order to manage the robot functions.
  • Monitor commands are used to execute the user written programs.


AL robot language was developed in Artificial Intelligence Lab at Stanford University. It is the second generation language based on simultaneous Pascal. The programs are written and executed on PDP – 10. If the program is developed with high level code, then it should be written in Stanford Artificial Intelligence Language (SAIL). The AL system includes a big mainframe computer, and it generally runs on PDP 11/45. The PDP 11/45 implements one terminal, 128 KB RAM memory, and floating point processor. This language has got the capability to control two Stanford Scheinman and two PUMA 600 arms simultaneously.


RPL robot language makes the improvement, checking, and correction of control algorithms very easy. It can be done even by an unskilled programmer like line foreman, production engineers, etc. The RPL programs are translated to interpretable code with the help of a compiler in SRI Robot Programming System. The programs are typically written in BLISS – 11 and run in RT – 11. The DECPDP – 10 is cross compiled into the LSI – 11 or PDP – 11. This robot language was designed in SRI International.

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