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Using Gazebo without ROS?

Yes, Gazebo is intended to work as a standalone robot simulator / visualizer.


What I want to do is: Visualize a real robot in a 3D visualization together with additional stuff (like a "ghost" robot showing the goal config, little spheres indicating goal position, frames, etc). So basically I want a lightweight RViz without using ROS.

This may be possible via Gazebo Plugins in some of the later version of Gazebo.
See: http://answers.gazebosim.org/question/3383/how-to-add-a-dynamic-visual-marker-in-gazebo/
and: https://ignitionrobotics.org/home


The documentation links back to ROS all the time so I don't really know if I can use Gazebo.

Have you looked through the Gazebo Tutorials? Many of them cover using Gazebo without ROS.


1) Can I simply load urdfs into the simulator (like with pybullet)?

Yes.
See: http://answers.gazebosim.org/question/17976/how-does-gazebo-load-a-urdf-file-without-ros/?answer=17985#post-id-17985


1a) If I can only load SDFs, is there a conversion tool? (Somehow when Gazebo is used in ROS, there are also only URDFs/Urdf-macros used.)

You can load URDFs directly into Gazebo without ROS, but you can also convert a URDF files into a SDF file, using
gz sdf -p my_urdf.urdf > my_sdf.sdf


2) Can I update robot joints continously in a program without ROS (and how?)

Yes, you can do this via a custom Gazebo Plugin.
See: http://gazebosim.org/tutorials?cat=guided_i&tut=guided_i5
and: http://gazebosim.org/tutorials?tut=set_velocity&cat= and: https://answers.ros.org/question/233059/gazebo-set-joint-angles-by-ros/


3) Can I disable all collision detection (basically the actual phys. simulation), so I can spawn robots into each other and don't have delayed actuation due to inertia?

Maybe.
See: http://answers.gazebosim.org/question/17216/how-to-turn-off-all-collisions/?answer=17218#post-id-17218
and: https://answers.ros.org/question/218744/gazebo-disable-physics-or-enable-kinematics-through-codecommand-line/

Using Gazebo without ROS?

Yes, Gazebo is intended to work as a standalone robot simulator / visualizer.


What I want to do is: Visualize a real robot in a 3D visualization together with additional stuff (like a "ghost" robot showing the goal config, little spheres indicating goal position, frames, etc). So basically I want a lightweight RViz without using ROS.

This may be possible via Gazebo Plugins in some of the later version of Gazebo.
See: http://answers.gazebosim.org/question/3383/how-to-add-a-dynamic-visual-marker-in-gazebo/
and: https://ignitionrobotics.org/home


The documentation links back to ROS all the time so I don't really know if I can use Gazebo.

Have you looked through the Gazebo Tutorials? Many of them cover using Gazebo without ROS.


1) Can I simply load urdfs into the simulator (like with pybullet)?

Yes.
See: http://answers.gazebosim.org/question/17976/how-does-gazebo-load-a-urdf-file-without-ros/?answer=17985#post-id-17985


1a) If I can only load SDFs, is there a conversion tool? (Somehow when Gazebo is used in ROS, there are also only URDFs/Urdf-macros used.)

You can load URDFs directly into Gazebo without ROS, but you can also convert a URDF files into a SDF file, using
gz sdf -p my_urdf.urdf > my_sdf.sdf


2) Can I update robot joints continously in a program without ROS (and how?)

Yes, you can do this via a custom Gazebo Plugin.
See: http://gazebosim.org/tutorials?cat=guided_i&tut=guided_i5
and: http://gazebosim.org/tutorials?tut=set_velocity&cat= and: https://answers.ros.org/question/233059/gazebo-set-joint-angles-by-ros/


3) Can I disable all collision detection (basically the actual phys. simulation), so I can spawn robots into each other and don't have delayed actuation due to inertia?

Maybe.Yes.
See: http://answers.gazebosim.org/question/17216/how-to-turn-off-all-collisions/?answer=17218#post-id-17218
and: https://answers.ros.org/question/218744/gazebo-disable-physics-or-enable-kinematics-through-codecommand-line/

Using Gazebo without ROS?

Yes, Gazebo is intended to work as a standalone robot simulator / visualizer.


What I want to do is: Visualize a real robot in a 3D visualization together with additional stuff (like a "ghost" robot showing the goal config, little spheres indicating goal position, frames, etc). So basically I want a lightweight RViz without using ROS.

This may be possible via Gazebo Plugins in some of the later version of Gazebo.
See: http://answers.gazebosim.org/question/3383/how-to-add-a-dynamic-visual-marker-in-gazebo/
and: https://ignitionrobotics.org/home


The documentation links back to ROS all the time so I don't really know if I can use Gazebo.

Have you looked through the Gazebo Tutorials? Many of them cover using Gazebo without ROS.


1) Can I simply load urdfs into the simulator (like with pybullet)?

Yes.
See: http://answers.gazebosim.org/question/17976/how-does-gazebo-load-a-urdf-file-without-ros/?answer=17985#post-id-17985


1a) If I can only load SDFs, is there a conversion tool? (Somehow when Gazebo is used in ROS, there are also only URDFs/Urdf-macros used.)

You can load URDFs directly into Gazebo without ROS, but you can also convert a URDF files into a SDF file, using
gz sdf -p my_urdf.urdf > my_sdf.sdf


2) Can I update robot joints continously in a program without ROS (and how?)

Yes, you can do this via a custom Gazebo Plugin.
See: http://gazebosim.org/tutorials?cat=guided_i&tut=guided_i5
and: http://gazebosim.org/tutorials?tut=set_velocity&cat= http://gazebosim.org/tutorials?tut=set_velocity&cat=
and: https://answers.ros.org/question/233059/gazebo-set-joint-angles-by-ros/


3) Can I disable all collision detection (basically the actual phys. simulation), so I can spawn robots into each other and don't have delayed actuation due to inertia?

Yes.
See: http://answers.gazebosim.org/question/17216/how-to-turn-off-all-collisions/?answer=17218#post-id-17218
and: https://answers.ros.org/question/218744/gazebo-disable-physics-or-enable-kinematics-through-codecommand-line/