Gazebo Tutorial

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This tutorial describes how to use Sawyer with Gazebo the standard Physics Simulator for ROS.


  • Make sure you have followed the Workstation Setup tutorial before beginning this section. Sawyer Gazebo is only available for Ubuntu 16.04, ROS Kinetic, and Gazebo 7.
  • Ensure the following software packages are installed:

    $ sudo apt-get install gazebo7 ros-kinetic-qt-build ros-kinetic-gazebo-ros-control ros-kinetic-gazebo-ros-pkgs ros-kinetic-ros-control ros-kinetic-control-toolbox ros-kinetic-realtime-tools ros-kinetic-ros-controllers ros-kinetic-xacro python-wstool ros-kinetic-tf-conversions ros-kinetic-kdl-parser ros-kinetic-sns-ik-lib

    Sawyer Simulator Installation

      • From your catkin workspace where the SDK resides, use wstool to install and update:

      Install sawyer_simulator

      $ mkdir -p ~/ros_ws/src
      $ cd ~/ros_ws/src
      $ git clone
      $ cd ~/ros_ws/src
      $ wstool init .
      $ wstool merge sawyer_simulator/sawyer_simulator.rosinstall
      $ wstool update

      IMPORTANT: Make sure all simulator repositories update to their proper branch.

      Build Source

      $ source /opt/ros/kinetic/setup.bash
      $ cd ~/ros_ws
      $ catkin_make


      • The shell has a special hook of *sim* for Simulation. Run the Intera shell script with sim specified:
      $ ./ sim
      • Start simulation with controllers:
      $ roslaunch sawyer_gazebo sawyer_world.launch

      Smoke Test

      Check if the simulator was installed and launched successfully by typing the following commands:

      $ rosnode list

      This should list the nodes as here.

      $ rostopic list

      This should list the topics as here.

      $ rostopic echo /robot/state

      By default, the following messages should be displayed at 100 HZ.

      enabled: False
      stopped: False
      error: False
      estop_button: 0
      estop_source: 0

      Run SDK Examples

      • Start Joint Torque Springs example:
      $ ./ sim
      $ roslaunch sawyer_gazebo sawyer_world.launch
      *in a new terminal*
      $ ./ sim
      $ rosrun intera_examples
      • Or, Start Simulated Pick and Place example:
      $ ./ sim
      $ roslaunch sawyer_sim_examples sawyer_pick_and_place_demo.launch

      For additional information on the interfaces that are implemented with this release, visit the Simulator API page.


      • Please refer to the troubleshooting page Gazebo Troubleshooting