RoPod/Tutorials/GAZEBO installation and interface with ROS

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Install Gazebo

GAZEBO is a set of ROS packages that provide the necessary interfaces to simulate a robot in the Gazebo 3D rigid body simulator for robots. It integrates with ROS using ROS messages, services and dynamic reconfigure.

Make sure you do not get errors in any of the steps. Otherwise ask for help to your coaches.

Install gazebo version 11.x using the step-by-step installation, those versions are compatible with ROS noetic: http://gazebosim.org/tutorials?cat=install&tut=install_ubuntu&ver=7.0

Only if you had problems with the command

sudo apt-get install gazebo11

Try to use the command aptitude instead of apt-get. Install it first:

sudo apt-get install aptitude

Then try gazebo installation

sudo aptitude install gazebo11

Install gazebo_ros_pkgs and some extra packages needed to run the basis ropod model

sudo apt-get install ros-noetic-gazebo-ros-pkgs ros-noetic-gazebo-dev ros-noetic-gazebo-plugins 
sudo apt-get install ros-noetic-gazebo-ros ros-noetic-gazebo-ros-control

Faster startup of Gazebo

As you might notice, it can take quite a while before gazebo is loaded. This is caused by loading several models from the gazebo-repository. You can prevent this as follows:

  • Go to the directory where gazebo is installed
cd /usr/share/gazebo-<your gazebo version> 
  • Open setup.sh in an editor as a super user
vim setup.sh
  • replace the line

"export GAZEBO_MODEL_DATABASE_URI="http://gazebosim.org/models" to export GAZEBO_MODEL_DATABASE_URI=""

Now, Gazebo should be loaded much faster by loading it from a new terminal.

Be careful with this: models from standard tools, such as depth-camera's, can be found in this library. By replacing this line, you can not add them by default any more, but you should download these files yourself and add them to your local library.

Test that gazebo is launched from ROS

We assume that you already followed all steps in RoPod/Tutorials/ROS installation

Then, we can launch the ropod gazebo model together with the ROPOD basis software using the alias

r2start gui:=true

rstart is an alias which is used to get the communication with all the sensors up-and-running. As we have no robot on the dev-pc, gazebo is used for this purpose. At the same time, r-viz starts up in order to visualize all the data.

Get familiar with the data being published, the nodes, etc. See ROS tutorials.

At this point you can also test the ROPOD software by following the steps in RoPod/Tutorials/Simulation .

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