In the light of the next Aerial ROS meeting about simulation, there is now a start of
a page in the aerial robotics landscape. Anybody feels that there are any simulator that is important that is missing from this list? Or what is your experience with these?
These simulators have been found to support aerial flight:
These are some aerial robotics for simulation (with ROS support I think):
Also, there are also some aerial dynamic models that people can use as plugins for these simulators, but arguably there are most likely a lot more out there so this.
Hope to know more about your experience with these so we can use that as fuel for our next meeting
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# Simulation of Aerial Robotics
Simulation is crucial when working with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Testing different trajectories and control paradigms in a simulator before implementing them on the real platform ensures not only safety but also facilitates development.
This page presents several simulator options for aerial robotics enthusiasts.
The following simulators have their own integrated physics simulation and basic rendering capabilities. They are capable of simulating the aerodynamic forces necessary to keep UAVs airborne:
* **AIRsim** (https://github.com/microsoft/AirSim): An open-source project for aerial vehicle simulation by Microsoft.
* **Flightgear** (https://www.flightgear.org/) This open source simulator is mostly meant for training pilots but have been used for UAvs as well. This simulator JBSsim with unreal engine
* **Gazebo** (https://gazebosim.org/): A staple simulation widely used by the robotics and ROS (Robot Operating System) community.
* **Isaac Sim** (https://developer.nvidia.com/isaac-sim): A simulator built by Nvidia for robotics with a strong focus on rendering.
* **Pybullet** (https://pybullet.org/wordpress/): A real-time physics simulation that easily interfaces with Python.
* **RealFlight** (https://www.realflight.com/): A simulator heavily used in the RC (Remote Control) community.
* **Webots** (https://www.cyberbotics.com/): Another versatile robotics simulator with excellent ROS support.
* **XPlane** (https://www.flightgear.org/) Similar to Flightgear (but then with a commercial license) this simulator was initially made for realistically flying planes for pilots, although it have been used for UAV flight.
I’d also like to add that there was [a workshop in ICRA 2023 London about Aerial Simulation](
The Role of Robotics Simulators for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which will be interesting to watch as well for anybody interested:
next meeting of the ROS-aerial community working group will discuss this topic as well. Hope to see you there!
A nice list of characteristics of an aerial robotic simulation should have we defined at our last meeting:
Interaction objects with aerial robotics
Vision based but real is better
Interaction with water
Load real world environments
Easily define new vehicles
Simulation electronics and battery
Ground station simulation
Can we call DCS world a simulator?
The graphics are much better, but modding is difficult.
That abbrivation stands for Digital Combat Simulator right?
I guess technically it is? I’m hesitant to put it on the list from my pacifists views but for completeness it should probably be on the list. Does anybody use this for drone development?
One thing that came out of the discussion was that we also need to think about making a clear definition of what is called a simulator and what is not… or subelements of it. think of other names for it as the word ‘simulation’ is extremely broad and confuses a lot of people too.
Also 2 simulators/models that people mentioned.
We should add those to the list as well.
What about O3DE? This is a pretty impressive demo for Cesium which seems to provide photorealistic terrain and urban buildings which is applicable for outdoor UAV’s.
Cesium for O3DE enables real world 3D data in Open 3D Engine (O3DE), allowing developers to create rich, full-scale, high-accuracy global simulations and experiences.
That is interesting too. Anybody that used it for UAVS so far?
Also a little announcement, I’ve helped co-authoring a IEEE submitted paper which is a survey of UAV simulations based on the
Aerial simulation workshop I co-organized for ICRA 2023. It has been submitted to IEEE for possible publication but it is now available already on the ArXiv: ‘Survey of Simulators for Aerial Robots’ by Dimmig et al (2023)
Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) research faces challenges with safety, scalability, costs, and ecological impact when conducting hardware testing. High-fidelity simulators offer a vital solution by replicating real-world conditions to enable the...
Hope this paper will useful for anyone swimming the vast aerial simulation ocean!
I haven’t found any evidence but see no reason it couldn’t be. Maybe it’s lacking physics for flight dynamics.
Also, it seems that AirSim seems to have some kind of fork or wrapper called AirGen:
It seems to be limited to academics for free access so technically not open source anymore (which they can since it is MIT)