A few noteworthy events related to Gazebo have occurred over the previous couple months. A new version of Gazebo has been released, simulation tutorials have received an overhaul, and a new ArduPilot plugin for Gazebo has been created.
Gazebo 7 release
At the beginning of January, the we began to prepare for the release of Gazebo 7. This involved wrapping up a set of outstanding features and significant testing. On January 25th, Gazebo 7 was officially released. This version will have support for five years, and adds a variety of new and exciting features including a graphical model editor, torsional friction, wide angle camera sensor, and numerous performance improvements and bug fixes. Over the next year, we will focus on Gazebo’s user experience. To date, a lot of time has been spent perfecting physics and sensor simulation. This effort was vital for the Virtual Robotics Competition and other projects. Our focus now is to polish Gazebo into a tool that is more approachable by designers, engineers, students, and anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable using linux and/or a terminal.
Documentation and support materials are extremely important, especially when using a complex system like Gazebo. First time users of Gazebo typically face a large learning curve that can be daunting. In an effort to reduce this learning curve, we have added new tutorials and restructured the tutorial system. A new section, called Guided, features tutorials that offer more structure. The first set of Guided tutorials are targeted to beginners. Over the next few months additional tutorials for intermediate and advanced users will be added.
ArduPilot Gazebo Plugin
Developers at DIY Drones have created a new ArduPilot plugin for Gazebo. Check out their blog post for more information. Their demo video, below, is an impressive demonstration of the ArduPilot plugin and Gazebo.