Simulation in Robotics

❓ Did you know that some of the most challenging factors of deploying a robot are #safety, #security, #scalability#robots reliability, risk mitigation, and #scalability.

#Simulators can play a vital role in easing the integration process taking into account the above factors, and helps answer the question of any end-user - “the right product for the right application.” 👌

🤖 The lifecycle of a robot from the design & manufacturing stage to production and deployment requires a lot of investment. To minimize costs, we can use simulation to provide proof of design by easily customizing robot design and proof of processes such as cycle time and efficiency goals. Offline programming can also be performed using simulation. Hence, it can be used for visualization and as a planning and strategic tool.

Several simulators can be used, such as Gazebo, NVIDIA ISAAC, VRep, and Webots. 🎮

⚡️ Webots is an open-source three-dimensional #mobilerobot simulator that was initially developed as a research tool to investigate various control algorithms in mobile robotics. Olivier Michel, the creator of Webots, rightly said that as Webots uses a modified version of the Open Dynamics Engine, it has better contact points, collision detection and fluid dynamics properties. Multi-threading and enhanced physics models provide great stability.

Webots is perfect for multi-agent simulation as robots are namespaced automatically depending on the PROTO name (representation of robot model) and PID (Process Identifier) of the webots instance. It has excellent integration with #ROS (Robot Operating System) and #ROS2 and can also be used for CI (Continuous Integration). It can run headless on dockers and can also use GPU for processing. 🎯

There is great content available on YouTube to help you get started, such as:

🎬 A step by step tutorial on how to use Webots, beginning with installation to integration with #dockers :

🎬 Webots’s integration with ROS helps to make the robot software stack agnostic of vehicle type. The below Robotics Software Picodegree series introduces important robotics concepts such as #mapping, #navigation and Obstacle Avoidance, and uses Webots to showcase the implementation :

🎬 Tutorial series on Webot’s Integration with ROS2.

Contributing Editor: Koyal Bhartia

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