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Robotics Simulator – Gazebo

Robot Operating System(ROS1/ROS2) Tech

Robotics Simulator – Gazebo

So far we have learned ROS Basics and parallelly practiced ROS concepts by executing ROS commands and developing Python code. However, as we will progress to start learning advance ROS concepts, we will also work in simulated environment. In this blog we will discuss what robotics simulators are and in doing so we will also go through the features of a widely used robotics simulator called Gazebo.

What are Robotics Simulators?

Robotics simulators are software tools that provide a virtual environment for simulating and testing robotic systems without the need for physical hardware. These simulators allow developers to create, control, and evaluate the behavior of robots in a simulated environment.

Importance of Simulator

Robotics simulators play a crucial role in the field of robotics. They can significantly reduce the cost of development, as physical robots can be expensive to build, operate, and maintain. Additionally, simulators provide a safe testing environment where potential risks or damages to real robots can be avoided.


Gazebo is a widely used open-source robot simulation environment that provides a realistic and powerful platform for simulating robotic systems. It is a key tool used by robotics developers and researchers to develop, test, and validate robot algorithms in a safe and controlled virtual environment.

Gazebo is a 3D physics-based simulator that allows users to create virtual environments and simulate robots in those environments. It is developed by the Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) and is released under the Apache 2.0 license. Gazebo provides a wide range of features that make it a popular choice for robot simulation, including realistic physics-based simulation, sensor simulation, support for multiple robots, and a large collection of pre built models and environments.

Salient Features of Gazebo

Gazebo has following features that make it a powerful tool for robot simulation

Physics-based simulation: Gazebo simulates the physics of objects in the environment, including gravity, friction, collision detection, and dynamics. This allows users to accurately model the behavior of robotic systems and test their algorithms in a realistic environment.

Sensor simulation: Gazebo supports simulating various sensors commonly used in robotics, such as cameras, lidar, sonar, and GPS. This allows users to develop and test perception algorithms that rely on sensor data in a controlled virtual environment.

Robot model editor: Gazebo provides a graphical interface for creating and editing robot models. Users can design their robots using a wide range of components, such as links, joints, sensors, and actuators, and then simulate their behavior in Gazebo.

ROS integration: Gazebo is tightly integrated with the Robot Operating System (ROS), which is a popular framework for developing robotic systems. This allows users to easily interface Gazebo with their ROS based robot software and simulate the interaction between robots and their environment.

Multi-robot simulation: Gazebo supports simulating multiple robots in the same environment, allowing users to study interactions and cooperation between robots. This is particularly useful for developing multi-robot systems, such as swarm robotics or multi-agent systems.

Extensibility: Gazebo is highly extensible, allowing users to develop their plugins and extensions to add custom functionality. This makes Gazebo a flexible platform that can be tailored to specific research or application needs.

Overall, Gazebo is a powerful and versatile robot simulation framework that offers realistic physics-based simulations, sensor simulations, 3D graphics, extensibility, and integration with ROS, making it a popular choice for researchers, developers, and educators in the field of robotics.

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