Maritime Working Group Meeting Dec 2023: HoloOcean ROS 2 bridge

Last month, we had a productive technical meeting, and we plan to have at least 1 technical working meeting per quarter. You can stay connected on the kanban board, comment on tickets you signed up for, and feel free to use the Matrix chat.

This month, we will have a joint presentation on HoloOcean! Joshua Mangelson, the PI of HoloOcean from Brigham Young University will talk about the simulator itself, and Gergely Kis from Migeran will tell us about his ROS 2 bridge for HoloOcean. The bridge is developed independently of the original HoloOcean authors.

This month, Gergely Kis from Migeran will tell us about his ROS 2 bridge for HoloOcean. This bridge is developed independently of the original HoloOcean authors (who will speak at the WG some time soon).

HoloOcean uses Unreal Engine 4 for rendering. There are many examples of community usage of Unreal with ROS, though HoloOcean itself does not officially provide tools for ROS. The ROS 2 bridge is a community-developed example.

HoloOcean authors welcome community contributions to be upstreamed.

Come with questions!

When: 2023-12-05T16:00:00Z2023-12-05T17:00:00Z
Where: Virtual at
Calendar event: Google Calendar
Agenda: ROS Maritime Working Group meeting agenda - Google Docs

Quick links to resources for the WG:
GitHub kanban board
GitHub community
Matrix chat
Google Group (only used to send meeting calendar invites)


Is this talk open to everyone? We are not contributing to your kanban board, but are very interested in all things related to underwater simulation.

Yes, the Maritime WG meetings are always open to everyone. You’re welcome to join us.

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Note there’s a change in speaker arrangements.
We’ll still have Gergely to talk about the ROS 2 bridge for HoloOcean.
HoloOcean itself will be covered by Josh in a later month.

Thank you Gergely for the informative presentation and technical Q&A, and everyone’s participation!

From Gergely’s presentation:
GitHub: GitHub - migeran/holoocean_ros and GitHub - migeran/holoocean_tools
Contact Gergely with questions: kisg (Gergely Kis) · GitHub

Meeting recording, chat, transcript (parts of the auto-generated transcript are pretty messed up this time).
Notes on regular WG updates and kanban progress are in the agenda as usual.

Awesome presentations! I haven’t been able to check in on time but have been enjoying the meeting recordings. I’m actually working on a Unity-based surface vessel simulation project right now

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Glad to hear!

Would love to hear about your experience using Unity for surface vehicle simulation - pros and cons, lessons learned, etc.

By any chance, is the meeting time bad for your time zone? We might have it at a different time in Jan, as we are expecting to get a speaker in a different time zone.

The times aren’t too bad, I’ll try to make it to the next one.
It would be cool to present the project at some point, if/when it’s mature enough to be useful. The physics are more or less finished, and I’ve implemented a few sensors and basic propulsion dynamics, but there’s a lot of stuff i still need to do. Here’s a screenshot of me testing slam_toolbox on the sim, featuring the WAM-V. The ROS2- interface is handled by the unity TCP connector.

It’s my first real project but I’m really hoping it could be useful to someone in the future. Learning a ton!

Looks really nice.

Are you aware of other existing Unity simulation projects for marine applications? I ask because often people are rebuilding the same things. I had seen a competition team using Unity before, and they built much of the similar things. But it probably doesn’t get much publicity for people to know of its existence.

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a standard one that everyone knows of. Njord also uses Unity I believe.

Njord is the only one i’m really aware of, but I’m sure there are others. I don’t mind reinventing the wheel though as long as i’m learning.

I know some people like to use Unity only as a front-end, where the system state is forwarded to it by some external backend. I’m likely the only one doing this with the HDRP water system, which is very new and fancy. I’ve found that not having experience writing shaders is a bit of a roadblock for some stuff i want to do.

HDRP water system looks very cool. Thanks for the info! Keep us posted.