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Hi Chris,

Thanks for the input.

The first thing I want to mention is that a shared memory interface will not improve performance in the context of the VRC. Team code will not run on the same machine as simulation, so a network interface is mandatory.

Bullet is under rapid development. However, I don't want people to get the idea that will magically solve performance issues.

Onto the core of this question, which is the performance of Gazebo on cloud machines and what will be the fixed physics time step. Here are the following items we need to take into account:

  • Performance (as measured by real-time factor) varies during simulation as objects move and interact with one another. The means, we need to be clever about measuring performance.

  • The fidelity of sensor generation can greatly effect performance. Higher resolution cameras and faster sensor update rates, while nice, will lead to a slower simulation.

  • The fidelity of collision objects also effect performance. For example, using triangle meshes as collision objects can result in highly degraded performance.

So, we need to pick a dt that:

1) Allows Atlas and other objects to behave properly 2) Allows sensors to generate realistic-enough data 3) Get as close to real-time as possible give #1 and #2.

We are actively testing Gazebo, and DRC sim on cloud computers with environments that will be used during the VRC. Based on these tests, we will determine what the appropriate parameters for simulation will be. The first set of parameters will be released with the VRC Qualification worlds (the week of Feb 11th).

As usual, your feedback is most welcome and we'll try our best to accommodate your needs. Please keep in mind that many aspects of simulation and the VRC have to be balanced, and not everyone will get exactly what they want.