APMRover Gazebo simulation support


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Following up from Gazebo simulation of Erle-Copter I’m happy to announce that Erle Robotics has released its Erle-Rover Gazebo simulation which enables anyone using APM (ardupilot) to simulate rovers with Gazebo! Read below for more.

Erle Robotics is glad to announce that the simulation for the Erle-Rover has been launched and open sourced.

Gazebo is the state of art of robot simulators, a powerful real time physics simulator that allows the developers to test their algorithms in a secure and agile way. It runs along ROS (Robot Operating System) and that’s probably what makes it perfect, plus it offers a variety of sensors (such as lidars, cameras, range finders) in form of plugins that can be added to any robot model. We expect the APM community to benefit from this work and simulate their autonomous rovers using these tools.

The plugin has been developed over AurelienRoy’s plugin which, in a nutshell, is an interface between Gazebo and APM:Rover (ardupilot). Erle Robotics added to this plugin to support for their Rover.

To show the power of this plugin, here are some behaviors we developed and tested:

  • Obstacle avoidance: a simple but powerful enough algorithm to avoid obstacles. This behaviour was tested first under Gazebo and then brought to real life scenario. It uses a 270º HOKUYO lidar sensor, but all the details and the source code can be found here.
  • Line/terrain follower : line follower algorithm using the camera. Again, all details as well as the source code can be found here.
  • SLAM : SLAM application using hector_mapping node, a powerful SLAM approach that can be used only with a lidar sensor. All the details, including source code are available here. This also was translated to a real scenario and we’ll push more videos soon.

Additional information and resources: