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Recommended way of using Gazebo with ROS Groovy

asked 2013-01-13 20:18:24 -0600

bit-pirate gravatar image

Hi Simulators!

I'm trying to get my robot simulation working with Gazebo (currently 1.2.5) in ROS Groovy.

After I checked the ROS wiki, the Gazebosim docs and the Q&A here, I'm still confused what the actual recommended way of using Gazebo with ROS Groovy is.

More precisely:

  • Which version(s) of Gazebo will be supported in/is recommended for Groovy?
  • Do I have to start maintaining an extra SDF description of my robot? (If yes, is/will SDF supported in other parts of ROS, e.g. robot state publisher?)
  • Are there Tutorials available for ROS users to get quickly up to speed?

There is already some related documentation out there, such as installation instructions and tutorials with notes regarding ROS. So, it might be sufficient to put a brief note somewhere to point ROS users like me in the right direction (linking to the recommended installation instructions and tutorials).

Thanks for your help!

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2 Answers

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answered 2013-01-14 22:40:04 -0600

nkoenig gravatar image

Here's some insight into our dev process:

1) We decide on a set of features and functionality for a new release, and internally choose a deadline.

2) Develop, debug, test, write documentation, etc.

3) Feature freeze a release branch, which means no new features may be added.

4) About a week later we code freeze, which means only critical bug fixes may be added.

5) About a week later we release Gazebo with both source and debian packages.

When the next release of ROS rolls around, a version of Gazebo is selected and included in ROS. This version of Gazebo is not the newest, nor the most heavily tested with ROS. We have likely already moved onto a new version of Gazebo and fixed a slew of bugs.

In the near future ROS will not pull in a version Gazebo. Instead it will use the default system install. Until this happens, the situation is slightly ugly.

Cutting to the chase...I would stick with a version of Gazebo that works for you.

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Thanks for the insight! I take from your answer, that the better way (especially regarding the future) would be moving to the standalone installation, which would currently be 1.3. But as long as I don't run into problems, I can also stick with the version distributed with ROS (currently 1.2.5).

bit-pirate gravatar imagebit-pirate ( 2013-01-14 23:15:35 -0600 )edit

In case my above comment is correct, what about adding this information somewhere (e.g. ROS wiki, Gazebo wiki)? Furthermore, do you have any suggestions/updates regarding the URDF/SDF issue? PS: Sorry for nagging! :-)

bit-pirate gravatar imagebit-pirate ( 2013-01-14 23:17:25 -0600 )edit

I've put the development steps here: I'm aiming to make a standalone version of SDF in the coming weeks. It'll be up to the ROS community to adopt it, nor not.

nkoenig gravatar imagenkoenig ( 2013-01-15 10:25:02 -0600 )edit

This is a scary prospect for me. Currently, my ROS Gazebo runs fine, but 1.3.1 standalone crashes on startup.

Ben B gravatar imageBen B ( 2013-01-15 17:49:42 -0600 )edit

answered 2013-01-14 15:49:54 -0600

Ben B gravatar image

From Nate's comments here:

I've fixed the instructions. You should only install Gazebo from the OSRF repository. It will not touch your ROS files, and you will still be able to use ROS with Gazebo.

It sounds like we should avoid using the Gazebo that comes with ROS. Makes sense -- the ROS version seems to lag in both major version numbers and bug fixes.

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Well, as long as the picked version of Gazebo is stable and not too old, I don't mind lagging behind a bit. People who want/need to most recent version can still install it additionally. I'm more concerned about having a version which works smoothly with ROS.

bit-pirate gravatar imagebit-pirate ( 2013-01-14 17:54:48 -0600 )edit

Looks like Nate is talking about [1.3]( If this is the recommend version for ROS Groovy, please state it somewhere.

bit-pirate gravatar imagebit-pirate ( 2013-01-14 17:56:44 -0600 )edit

I think his point is that you should be using the best version of Gazebo regardless of whether or not you're using it with ROS.

Ben B gravatar imageBen B ( 2013-01-14 18:04:48 -0600 )edit

True, but the best is not always the latest. :-)

bit-pirate gravatar imagebit-pirate ( 2013-01-14 19:43:37 -0600 )edit

please see my comment in, gazebo 1.7.7 has been released with a branch that is 1.3.1 based. Once the debbuild is done (another day or so?) you can apt-get update to get it.

hsu gravatar imagehsu ( 2013-01-14 19:59:05 -0600 )edit

Thanks for the hint, HSU. Unfortunately, that still doesnt answer my question which version is recommended. Should is stick with 1.2.5 as long as it works, should i upgrade to the standalone gazebo with 1.3 or should I use 1.7, you just mentioned?

bit-pirate gravatar imagebit-pirate ( 2013-01-14 20:12:41 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2013-01-13 20:18:24 -0600

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Last updated: Jan 14 '13