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Framework for Simulationsoftware

Hi everyone,

I'm planning to write a simulation software for an automated guided vehicle system. The major goal is to generate a software that is capable of a virtual implementation. We want to test everything before the real setup at the customers production facility is done.

So my constrains are to model the facility as detailed as possible. I have to simulate the robot behavior and also the sensor data. But every sensor that is currently used, is only sending I/O signals. Additionally i have to take care of all other elements that are in the system, like conveyors, gateways, alarms, etc...

I'm pretty new to the simulation field and wanted to ask for a second opinion. My company is generally programming in C# and everything is running on Windows. So I looked for an C# approach at first and found Unity3D - good community, clear and easy framework - so why not using a game engine and staying conform with the company programming language... I'm just having doubts when its coming to the sensor topic, because then Gazebo has definitely the better framework. Laserrangescanners and Pointclouds can already interact with the environment, that might be of interest for future developments.

So my questions are:

  1. What is from your point of view better --> Gazebo or Unity3D
  2. Is Gazebo running on Windows? (Saw the tut but Im afraid to crush my working laptop)

I also read the following Paper that has also a very interesting approach: A realistic RoboCup Rescue Simulation based on Gazebo

Would be very happy to hear your thoughts and thanks for all advices, Robert