Gazebo now supports the use of four different physics engines:

  • Open Dynamics Engine (ODE)
  • Bullet
  • Dynamic Animation and Robotics Toolkit (DART), from Georgia Tech
  • Simbody, from Stanford University

We are especially excited about the addition of DART and Simbody, which are Featherstone-based engines optimized for joint chains. By comparison, Bullet and ODE are maximal coordinate solvers which are optimized for performance over many independent models. Each physics engine was developed by its own community, motivated by a particular application domain, from gaming (Bullet) to simplified robot dynamics (ODE) to biomechanics (Simbody) to computer graphics and robot control (DART).

To our knowledge, this is the first time that such a diverse set of physics engines has been supported in one simulator.

By supporting multiple engines, Gazebo allows the user to choose the approach that performs best for his or her needs. For example, maximal coordinate solvers like ODE and Bullet perform well when simulating cluttered environments, while Featherstone-based solvers like DART and Simbody are potentially more accurate in simulating articulated systems such as humanoid robots.

All four physics engines can be accessed through Gazebo’s generic physics API. Users can simulate dynamic models created using Simulation Description Format (SDF) or Unified Robot Description Format (URDF) with any of the four supported physics engines.

Install instructions

Below is a video demonstration of the Atlas robot performing a dynamic walking task with Boston Dynamics's proprietary walking controller. The results from all four physics engines are superimposed:

Gazebo Multi-Physics Engine Support from OSRF on Vimeo.

Gazebo and Labview

2013-11-22

Chris Rogers at Tufts has successfully hooked LabVIEW together with Gazebo. His video demonstrations highlight the power of LabVIEW to create and control simulation worlds easily and quickly. Keep an eye out for more from Chris and his colleagues. Please contact Chris if your interested in helping out.

Gazebo versions 1.9.2 and 2.1.0 have been released.

Changelog | Migration Guide | Roadmap


Highlight for 1.9.2 (compatible with ROS)
  • Enable and disable sky and clouds via SDF
  • OS X improvements
  • Numerous bug fixes
Highlight for 2.1.0 (latest version)
  • Visualize moments of inertia
  • Added ability to clear the world via a plugin
  • Numerous bug fixes
  • Improved test suite

Gazebo version 2.0.0 has been released.

Changelog | Roadmap

Key Features
  • Terrain paging
  • Audio support
  • Various performance improvements
  • Wireless transmitter and receiver sensor models
  • Simbody integration (requires build from source)

Reddit AMA

2013-06-26

Nate Koenig and Gil Pratt will conduct a Reddit AMA tomorrow at 1PM ET. Join in to ask those burning questions.