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1. Introduction

1.1 What is Gazebo?

Gazebo is a multi-robot simulator for outdoor environments. Like Stage, it is capable of simulating a population of robots, sensors and objects, but does so in a three-dimensional world. It generates both realistic sensor feedback and physically plausible interactions between objects.

Gazebo is normally used in conjunction with the Player device server. Player provides an abstracted, network-centric mechanism (a server) through which robot controllers (clients) can interact with real robots and sensors. Gazebo works in conjunction with Player, providing simulated sensor data in the place of real sensor data. Ideally, client programs cannot tell the difference between real devices and the Gazebo simulation of those devices.

Gazebo can also be controlled through a low-level interface (libgazebo ). This library included to allow third-party developers to easily integrate Gazebo into their own (non-Player) robot device servers or architectures.

Last but not least, Player is Open Source and Free Software, released under the GNU General Public License. If you don't like how something works, change it. And please send us your patch!

1.2 Stage and Gazebo

The Player/Stage project provides two multi-robot simulators: Stage and Gazebo. Since Stage and Gazebo are both Player-compatible, client programs written using one simulator can usually be run on the other with little or no modification. The key difference between these two simulators is that whereas Stage is designed to simulate a very large robot population with low fidelity, Gazebo is designed to simulated a small population with high fidelity. Thus, the two simulator are complimentary, and users may switch back and forth between them according to their needs.

1.3 Getting Gazebo

Gazebo is release in source form through the Player/Stage website:
Check the downloads page for the latest software releases, and check the documentation page for the latest version of this manual.

1.4 System Requirements

Gazebo is primarily developed for x86/Linux systems using GCC and GNU autotools. It can, however, be ported fairly easily to Posix-like systems with X11 and OpenGL extensions (it is known to run more-or-less out-of-the-box on Apple's OS X, for example).

For best performance, users should also ensure that they are using hardware accelerated display drivers; try:

  $ glxinfo
and check for ``direct rendering: Yes''. Please, please don't ask the Gazebo developers how to get hardware acceleration working for your particular graphics card; you should be able to figure this out by consulting various on-line sources.

1.5 Bugs

This software is provided WITHOUT WARRANTY. Nevertheless, if you find something that doesn't work, or there is some feature you would like to see, you can submit a bug report/feature request through the Player/Stage homepage:
Include a detailed description of you problem and/or feature request, and information such as the Player version and operating system. Make sure you also select the ``gazebo'' category when reporting bugs.

1.6 License

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.

1.7 Acknowledgments

Gazebo is written by Nate Koenig and Andrew Howard. This work is supported by DARPA grant DABT63-99-1-0015 (MARS). Thanks also to for project hosting.

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Next: 1 User Guide Up: Contents Previous: Contents   Contents