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The Future of ROS Simulation, 2025

Hey All,
So I’m not sure what category this question really falls into but here it goes…

Gazebo Sim has a EOL date of 2025. Meaning, as of now, the software will no longer be developed/supported after then. Since Gazebo is the primary simulation supporter of ROS what does this say about ROS’ future? Will another simulation environment take Gazebo’s place? Will ROS become deprecated or “useless” without Gazebo and replaced fully by ROS2? What does this say about robotics simulation competitions by organizations like NASA, FetchIt, DARPA, etc?

Curious of your thoughts.

Thanks.

Hi Stephen,

The simulation team at Open Robotics is currently working on the release of Gazebo 11, which is planned to be the last version released from the osrf/gazebo codebase. As you mentioned, Gazebo 11 will EOL in 2025 (which, by the way, is also the expected EOL year for ROS Noetic).

The team is also working on the next generation of Gazebo, called Ignition. Ignition has already had 2 named releases (acropolis and blueprint) and the next one, codenamed citadel is coming up before the end of the year. Citadel will be Ignition’s first 5-year LTS, but we still expect large changes in the upcoming versions, as the codebase is currently under fast-paced development. You asked about competitions, and in fact, the SubT competition is already using Ignition Blueprint with ROS Melodic.

Having said all that, both Gazebo and Ignition are projects independent of ROS or ROS 2. Users are able to use ROS with other simulators, as well as Gazebo / Ignition with other frameworks. However, since Open Robotics maintains all of them, we make sure that they’re all well integrated :smile: Here are some more resources for you:

Cheers

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I have few questions about Ignition;

  1. Can be used as a drop-in replacement of gazebo or does the user need to change something in their system?
  2. Is it possible to run ignition without any graphic interface, for example to create end-to-end testing?
  3. Is there a list of features that Citadel will include?

@chapulina

Hey Louise, I was looking into some of the documentation for Ignition and I saw that it is installable on macOS. Will the ros2 integration be added to the macOS version as well?

The SDF files can remain basically the same, but the plugins need to be completely rewritten. It’s currently not trivial to port plugins and that’s one of the things we’re working to improve. Meanwhile, here are some relevant resources:

Yes, like Gazebo-classic, Ignition uses a client-server architecture, so you can choose to run simulation headless (i.e. ign gazebo -s for server only and ign gazebo -g for GUI only). That’s currently being used to run SubT in the cloud, for example.

Here’s the Ignition roadmap. The Citadel section is being updated with more bullets soon.

You should already be able to build ros_ign from source on OSX for dashing. If that’s not working, please open an issue on that repository with the specific problem you’re seeing (or even better, open a PR fixing it :smile:).

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@zmk5 see this issue regarding MacOSX.

Also, check out the gym-ignition project; which is bringing the OpenAI (RL) capabilities into Ignition.

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