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Robotics simulator: Wikis

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A robotics simulator is used to create embedded applications for a robot without depending physically on the actual machine, thus saving cost and time. In some case, these applications can be transferred on the real robot (or rebuilt) without modifications. The term robotics simulator can refer to several different robotics simulation applications. For example, in mobile robotics applications, behavior-based simulators allow users to create simple worlds of rigid objects and light sources and to program robots to interact with these worlds. Behavior-based simulation allows for actions that are more biological in nature when compared to simulators that are more binary, or computational. In addition, behavior-based simulators can "learn" from mistakes and are capable of demonstrating the anthropomorphic quality of tenacity.

Robologix robotics simulator.

One of the most popular applications for robotics simulators is for 3D modeling and rendering of a robot and its environment. This type of robotics software has a simulator that is a virtual robot, which is capable of emulating the motion of an actual robot in a real work envelope. Some robotics simulators, such as Robologix, use a physics engine for precise renderings and motion of the robot in 3D space. The use of a robotics simulator for development of a robotics control program is highly recommended regardless of whether an actual robot is available or not. The simulator allows for robotics programs to be conveniently written and de-bugged off-line with the final version of the program tested on an actual robot.

Contents

Features

Modern simulators tend to provide the following features:

  • Fast robot prototyping
    • Using the own simulator as creation tool (Webots, R-Station, Marilou).
    • Using external tools (Gazebo uses Blender).
  • Physics engines for realistic movements. Most simulators uses ODE (Gazebo, LpzRobots, Marilou, Webots) or PhysX (Microsoft).
  • Realistic 3d rendering. Standard 3d modeling tools or third party tools can be used to build the environments.
  • Dynamic robot bodies with scripting. URBI, MATLAB, Python languages used by Webots, Python used by Gazebo.

Simulators

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Open source simulators

  • UCHILSIM: A physics based simulator for AIBO Robots introduced in RoboCup 2004.
  • Gazebo: Probably the most complete open source simulator to this writing (2008-01-31). Part of the Player project.
  • LpzRobots: Another rich simulator with good material support.
  • OpenSim Simulator for articulated and wheeled robots with a wide range of characteristics. Further development stopped in the year 2006.
  • Simbad 3d Robot SimulatorJava based simulator
  • breve 3d simulator using Python
  • Khepera Simulator Apparently before Webots became commercial it was open source and called Khepera Simulator
  • Blender is a mature computer animation package that supports robotics devices in the form of armatures.
  • Moby is a robust C++ multibody dynamics simulator

Research simulators

Commercial simulators

Extra Information


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