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Beta Release of RobotX USV Simulation




NPS and OSRF are happy to announce that we are doing an early beta release of the Gazebo/ROS RobotX USV simulation environment. We are still working on many parts of this (and welcome any contributions!), but the current simulation includes…

  • Visual and collision models of the base WAM-V USV platform
  • Gazebo plugins to simulate simple hydrodynamics, waves, wind and propulsion
  • A world definition roughly similar to the coastline at Sand Island, HI (the RobotX 2018 venue).

All of the code is of course open source. The source, along with documentation and tutorials is available at

This is an open source project, so we welcome the feedback and contributions from the community - submit a pull request today!

Brian Bingham and Carlos Aguero


Wow, this is a very cool project. Simulator like this had been in my wishlist for a long time.

I have followed RobotX for a while but didn’t get a chance to compete. I finally settled down on an autonomous sailing boat project and had a lot fun with that. Like many other robot project, we test it, break it, and repair it again and again. We found it was really hard to design and implement a physic-based simulator for a sailing boat. Changing wind, wave and tide are difficult to model in gazebo. Now three year past, we had a fortune to earn some titles in the competition and we also learnt a lot. The idea of a simulator comes to my head again especially when I see this nice work.

I wonder how much effort it might take to implement a sailing boat model in gazebo? Does it make sense to include a sailing platform in your simulator?


You might get in touch with researchers from PUCRS in Brazil who have been working on a disaster robotics project.

I can’t seem to find the code repository at the moment.



tsaoyu and Brian,

The repository is
The sailboat is functional, although we are still organizing and cleaning up the repo.
In few months we will ‘launch’ the simulator but you are free to try it.

Talk with Marcelo Paravisi to help you select the branch with the sailboat. I guess it is not in the master branch yet.



Alex and Brain,

Thanks for pointing out this project! It looks impressive.
I will follow this project and if there is any problem please bear my abrupt email to your colleagues.