Why Gazebo?

Robot simulation is an essential tool in every roboticist's toolbox. A well-designed simulator makes it possible to rapidly test algorithms, design robots, perform regression testing, and train AI system using realistic scenarios. Gazebo offers the ability to accurately and efficiently simulate populations of robots in complex indoor and outdoor environments. At your fingertips is a robust physics engine, high-quality graphics, and convenient programmatic and graphical interfaces. Best of all, Gazebo is free with a vibrant community.

The Latest

Gazebo Newsletter: July 2018

2018-07-03

Gazebo Newsletter 11 July 2018

The previous newsletter described SubT and indicated that development has started to focus on its needs. SubT is a long running program with a final competition to be held in the fall of 2021. This schedule places certain restrictions on the set of software that we can use, assuming we want to avoid EOL distributions at the time of the final competition. A larger concern is the scope of simulation requirements, which can be summarized as tens of heterogeneous robots operating in underground spaces with a traversable length of tens of kilometers.

Based on time schedule and feature requirements, we are pursing a two-phased development strategy. Phase 1 is aimed at satisfying near term needs through the use of existing software which includes Gazebo 9, ROS Melodic and Ubuntu Bionic. In this phase, the largest limitation will be scale. The size of robot teams and environment complexity will be restricted. Phase 2 will address scale issues and incorporate new features through the use of the Ignition libraries in Gazebo 11.

You may have noticed that Gazebo version 10 was skipped. This is because we are too close to the Gazebo 10 release date to make the changes needed for SubT. So, Gazebo 10 will be an incremental improvement to Gazebo 9 and Gazebo 11 will contain the major new features required by SubT.

As a user and/or developer of Gazebo, you can expect the following.

  1. Gazebo 9: Stable and released with an EOL on Jan 25, 2023
  2. Gazebo 10: To be released on Jan 24, 2019 with an EOL on Jan 24, 2021
  3. Gazebo 11: Beta to be released around Sept or Oct 2018. Incremental improvements over the first 1.5 years of SubT. Final version to be released on Jan 29 2020 with an EOL on Jan 29 2025

Community Contributions

We'd like to thank the following person for their contributions to Gazebo.

Releases

The following list includes releases made over the past month.

  • Gazebo 7.13.1
  • Ignition Math 5.0.0~pre2

Tip of the month

Ignition Transport 5, currently in prerelease, ships with a message logging API and a helpful command line tool. Logging is acheived by writing serialized Protobuf messages along with metadata, such as topic name and message type, into an SQLite3 database.

We chose to use SQLite3 due to its stability, performance, cross-platform support, and large community with numerous tools, applications, and language bindings. Performance is an important consideration since we may need to log large quantities of messages, both in size and count. We evaluated the performance of SQLite using statistics published by the authors of SQLite.

We also ran a few tests ourselves to augment the official SQLite statistics. For 10KB messages we achieved a write speed of 210MB/s or roughly 21k msgs/sec. For comparison a 4.5GB file copied from one part of a disk to another achieved a rate of 189MB/sec. This result indicates that SQLite is utilizing the disk well, and is likely bound by disk bandwidth.

Take a look at this tutorial to get started with logging through Ignition Transport.

Featured Model

This month's featured model is a Toyota Prius equipped with a variety of sensors. The sensors include an IMU and GPS along with set of cameras, sonars, and LIDARs. This Prius model is perfect for testing and developing autonomous vehicle software.

Bugs

Questions and Answers

Most recent active questions

Useful Links

answers
community
robot_models
source code

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Features

Dynamics Simulation

Dynamics Simulation

Access multiple high-performance physics engines including ODE, Bullet, Simbody, and DART.

Advanced 3D Graphics

Advanced 3D Graphics

Utilizing OGRE, Gazebo provides realistic rendering of environments including high-quality lighting, shadows, and textures.

Sensors and Noise

Sensors and Noise

Generate sensor data, optionally with noise, from laser range finders, 2D/3D cameras, Kinect style sensors, contact sensors, force-torque, and more.

Plugins

Plugins

Develop custom plugins for robot, sensor, and environmental control. Plugins provide direct access to Gazebo's API.

Robot Models

Robot Models

Many robots are provided including PR2, Pioneer2 DX, iRobot Create, and TurtleBot. Or build your own using SDF.

TCP/IP Transport

TCP/IP Transport

Run simulation on remote servers, and interface to Gazebo through socket-based message passing using Google Protobufs.

Cloud Simulation

Cloud Simulation

Use CloudSim to run Gazebo on Amazon AWS and GzWeb to interact with the simulation through a browser.

Command Line Tools

Command Line Tools

Extensive command line tools facilitate simulation introspection and control.


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Get Started

Get your feet wet

  1. Quick Start

    A simple set of steps to get Gazebo up and running rapidly.

  2. GUI Hotkeys

    Description of Gazebo's hotkeys and mouse interactions.

  3. Tutorials

    The best way to start using Gazebo is to run through the tutorials. These tutorials cover both basic and simple concepts through a series of exercises.

  4. Examples

    Check out the example worlds and programs that are in the source code.

  5. answers.gazebosim.org

    If you can't find what you are looking for, try our askbot help forum located at answers.gazebosim.org.

  6. community.gazebosim.org

    Want to exchange ideas with the rest of the community? Come to community.gazebosim.org.

Information Sources

  1. Gazebo Overview

    A high-level description of Gazebo and its various components.

  2. Gazebo API

    Doxygen generated documentation for the Gazebo libraries.

  3. Protobuf Messages

    A complete list of all the protobuf messages used by Gazebo

  4. SDFormat Specification

    SDFormat is an XML file format that defines environments and models. This specification defines all the XML elements for describing world and models.


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Project Status

Gazebo 10.0 Progress

Jan 25 2018
Development
Feature freeze
Code freeze
Jan 24 2019

Jan 25 2018
Jan 3 2019
Jan 17 2019

Release Schedule and Roadmap

Gazebo will release a new major version once a year on the last week of January. Even numbered releases will have a life-span of two years, and odd five years.

The following roadmap is a best guess at the available features for each version. At the time of release more or fewer features may be available.

Refer documentation in downstream applications, such as ROS, for version compatiblilty.

Gazebo 1.9 2013-07-24 EOL 2015-07-27

  • Split out SDFormat into a separate package
  • Improved ROS support
  • Added Sonar, Force-torque, and pressure sensors
  • Allow user camera to follow objects
  • Basic OS X support

Gazebo 2.2 2013-11-07 EOL 2016-01-25

  • Improved shadow maps
  • Breakable walls
  • Visualize moment of inertia
  • Graphically resize simple shapes
  • Wireless transceiver sensor models
  • OpenAL audio support
  • Terrain paging

Gazebo 3.0 2014-04-11 EOL 2015-07-27

  • Unified command line tool
  • Lightmaps for improved rendering realism
  • Destructable simple shapes
  • Import DEM
  • Split in Debian packages, moving to Debian inclusion of Gazebo
  • Beta OSX support
  • Bullet support

Gazebo 4.0 2014-07-28 EOL 2016-01-25

  • Vehicle suspension models
  • More tutorials and documentation
  • Oculus Rift support
  • Razer Hydra support
  • Copy and paste models via GUI
  • Custom road textures
  • Support DART 4.1
  • New extruded polyline geometry
  • Fixed actor animations
  • Added KMeans class

Gazebo 5.0 2015-01-26 EOL 2017-01-25

  • C++11 integration
  • GUI overlay support
  • Clone running simulations
  • Improved building editor
  • Javascript interface

Gazebo 7.1 2016-01-25 EOL 2021-01-25

Gazebo 8.2 2017-12-10 EOL 2019-01-25

  • GUI plotting utility and system instrospection
  • GUI model editor
  • Generalization of Actor animations
  • QT 5 support
  • Import OBJ files
  • Support for Wind
  • Quadcopter simulation
  • Built-in video recording

Gazebo 9.0 2018-01-25 EOL 2023-01-25

Gazebo 10.0 2019-01-24 EOL 2021-01-24

  • Physics abstraction through Ignition Physics
  • Rendering abstraction, with OGRE and Optix, through Ignition Rendering
  • Plugin-based graphical user interface through Ignition GUI
  • Data logging in Ignition Transport
  • Support for encryption in Ignition Transport
  • First version of the new Ignition Gazebo
  • SDF C++ model
  • Scripting interfaces
  • Support for FBX meshes
  • Update to Cloudsim and simulation asset hosting

Gazebo 11.0 2020-01-29 EOL 2025-01-29

  • In GUI tutorials
  • Global and local navigation for mobile robots
  • Integration of MoveIt and/or Reflexxes
  • Constructive Solid Geometry support in the model editor
  • Rewind and replay simulation
  • GUI movie maker
  • Terrain GUI editor
  • Graphical tool to aid in validating physics
  • GUI console (display server messages)
  • Graphically resize inertias
  • Visualize plugin state
  • Reference geometries for link alignment with kinematic constraints
  • Integrate network simulation(ns-3 or EMANE)
  • Deformable shapes
  • Break-out command line tools to Ignition Tools
  • Save plugin state to log files
  • Support integration of quadcopter controllers with simulation

Versioning

Gazebo uses semantic versioning, a package numbering scheme that specifies ABI/API compatibility between releases. A version consists of three numbers separated by decimal points: MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH:
  • MAJOR version changed when incompatible ABI/API changes are made
  • MINOR version changed when functionality has been added in a backwards-compatible manne
  • PATCH version changed when backwards-compatible bug fixes are released

Tick-tock Release Cycle

A tick-tock release cycle allows easy migration to new software versions. Obsolete Gazebo code is marked as deprecated for one major release. Deprecated code produces compile-time warnings. These warning serve as notification to users that their code should be upgraded. The next major release will remove the deprecated code.

Example where function foo is deprecated and replaced by function bar:

Gazebo v1.0 Gazebo v2.0 Gazebo v3.0
void foo();
// Deprecated, see void bar()
void foo() GAZEBO_DEPRECATED(2.0);
void bar();
void bar();

Statistics

Physics Engine Support

Gazebo supports the ODE, Bullet, Simbody and DART physics engines. By default Gazebo is compiled with support for ODE. In order to use the other engines, first make sure they are installed and then compile Gazebo from source.

Physics Engine Gazebo Version Availability Notes
ODE 1.9+ Binary,Source Default engine. Gazebo maintains a fork of ODE which has diverged from the upstream package.
Bullet 3.0+ Source Gazebo requires libbullet2.82, available in the OSRF repository and to be included in Ubuntu Utopic.
Simbody 3.0+ Source Simbody packages are hosted in the OSRF repository. Expected to appear in Ubuntu Utopic official repositories.
DART 3.0+ Source DART packages are hosted in dartsim PPA. DART is in the process of moving toward inclusion in Ubuntu.
We are developing a physics plugin framework to resolve dependency issues. Each physics engine will interface to Gazebo through a plugin, avoiding the need to compile Gazebo with support for each engine.

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History

Gazebo development began in the fall of 2002 at the University of Southern California. The original creators were Dr. Andrew Howard and his student Nate Koenig. The concept of a high-fidelity simulator stemmed from the need to simulate robots in outdoor environments under various conditions. As a complementary simulator to Stage, the name Gazebo was chosen as the closest structure to an outdoor stage. The name has stuck despite the fact that most users of Gazebo simulate indoor environments.

Over the years, Nate continued development of Gazebo while completing his PhD. In 2009, John Hsu, a Senior Research Engineer at Willow, integrated ROS and the PR2 into Gazebo, which has since become one the primary tools used in the ROS community. A few years later in the Spring of 2011, Willow Garage started providing financial support for the development of Gazebo. In 2012, Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) spun out of Willow Garage and became the steward of the Gazebo project. After significant development effort by a team of talented individuals, OSRF used Gazebo to run the Virtual Robotics Challenge, a component in the DARPA Robotics Challenge, in July of 2013.

OSRF continues development of Gazebo with support from a diverse and active community. Stay tuned for more exciting developments related to robot simulation.