Gazebo Newsletter: June 2016


Gazebo Newsletter 2 June 2016

This past month we have started a development push on our web-technologies. CloudSim, a tool used to provision and manage cloud-based simulations, and PropShop are getting a reboot. Stay tuned over the coming months for updates.

We spent a week on a usability sprint, with the goal of putting ourselves in the shoes of first-time simulation users. The sprint utilized the FIRST 2016 competition environment. Two teams were tasked with constructing three robots using Gazebo and ROS. At the end of the week we generated and long list of usability issues, which we are now busy resolving.

We had a bit of fun at the end of the sprint, in the form of a live competition. Both teams setup in the OSRF cafe, and connected to Gazebo running the FRC 2016 environment. Check out the video below for a quick take on the robots we created.

Check out our robot building tutorial to make your own robot, and the FRC 2016 repository for the simulation environment.

Tip of the month

This month's tip is about improving simulation performance.

  1. Use simple shapes for collision elements, rather than meshes.
    Triangle mesh collisions are both CPU intensive and error prone. Use mesh objects for visuals, and simple shapes for collisions.
  2. Reduce joint count.
    Try to reduce the number of joints, including fixed joints, in models. Each joint introduces a constraint that the physics solver must compute.
  3. Simplify meshes.
    Meshes may contain screws and internal structures that are not useful in simulation, and only slow down rendering.Open your meshes in a 3D modeling tool, such as Blender, and remove or reduce the number of triangles.
  4. Review your sensors.
    Check sensor update rates and resolutions. For example, ask yourself if you need an HD camera in simulation.


  • Thanks to Nicolas Dessart, Jeongseok Lee, and Guilherme Campos Camargo for fixing bugs in Gazebo.
  • Thanks to Stefan Glaser, Camm11, and Jason Z Liang for fixing bugs in Robocup3ds.
  • Work continues on Gazebo for Windows. An internal development branch contains an experimental version that adds plugin support to Gazebo on Windows.


  • RoboCup3DS support for Ubuntu Xenial


We need your help to squash bugs! Please visit our issue trackers to get started.

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