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Wheel position & Chassis position

You have a couple options to get the position of objects in simulation.

  1. Subscribe to the /gazebo/default/pose/info topic and filter the messages on the desired links.
  2. Write a ModelPlugin for your robot that publishes wheel/chassis position.

Sensor noise

You can write a sensor plugin that outputs sensor data without noise, then apply noise and output it on a different topic. I like the idea of a simulation setting that makes it possible to output both data sources (noisy and noise-free) without writing a special plugin. Here is an issue to track this feature.

ROS

Ros is useful when you want to control a robot. There are numerous packages for localization, planning, motion control, etc. Whether you should use it or not depends on what you need to get done.

Hope this helps.