We are happy to announce the first release (v0.1) of STDR Simulator (Simple Two Dimensional Robot Simulator) ROS package. It is a fact that a variety of robot simulators is available. Some characteristic examples are the Player/Stage/Gazebo project, USARSim, Webots, V-REP and many many others. We acknowledge that these frameworks are state-of-the-art and provide a vast amount of services, ranging from realistic 3D simulation to hardware support. Though the prize you ought to pay is that they are either extremely architecturally complicated and confuse the novice robotics researcher or they require a lot of computational power to provide realistic 3D simulation. In addition, almost all of the pre-mentioned frameworks have a lot of dependencies that make the installation procedure time consuming and sometimes impossible due to dependency errors. What we envisioned was a simple simulator that its installation wouldn't require more than a few clicks, one that would allow the robotic researcher to materialize their ideas in a simple and efficient manner.
That is why we decided to create STDR Simulator. STDR Simulator's two main goals are:
- It doesn't aim to be the most realistic simulator, nor the one with the most functionalities. Our intention is to make a single robot's, or a swarm's simulation as simple as possible, by minimizing the needed actions the researcher has to perform to start theirs experiment. In addition, STDR can function with or without a graphical environment, which allows for experiments to take place even using ssh connections.
- STDR Simulator is created in a way that makes it totally ROS compliant. Every robot and sensor emits a ROS transformation (tf) and all the measurements are published in ROS topics. In that way, STDR uses all ROS advantages, aiming at easy usage with the world's most state-of-the-art robotic framework. The ROS compliance also suggests that the Graphical User Interface and the STDR Server can be executed in different machines, as well as that STDR can work together with ROS Rviz!
We hope that STDR Simulator will be useful to the beginner robotics researcher aiming at comprehending the area, as well as to an advanced roboticist who wants to try his ideas in mapping, navigation or path planning.
STDR Simulator is - of course - open source and can be downloaded from our Github page (https://github.com/stdr-simulator-ros-pkg/stdr_simulator
) or through the official ROS binary distributables (ros-hydro-stdr-simulator). Since this release is the initial one we expect things to not fully work, so it would perfect if you could provide us with some comments / suggestions / bugs that you discover. Our bug tracker is:https://github.com/stdr-simulator-ros-pkg/stdr_simulator/issues.
Finally you can find a detailed description of STDR Simulator in our wiki page or our website:
The development team:
- Manos Tsardoulias (administrator/developer), PhD in Electrical Engineering (etsardou [at] gmail [dot] com)
- Chris Zalidis (maintainer/developer), Student in Electrical Engineering (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) (zalidis [at] gmail [dot] com)
- Aris Thallas (developer), Student in Electrical Engineering (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) (aris.thallas [at] gmail [dot] com)