The Future of Robot Rescue Simulation - Software day 1

Installation requirements

The workshop has several tutorials and hands-on assignments, which require simulation and programming environments. This page describes the software-packages which should be installed on your computer for the first day of the workshop.

What is needed to be prepared for the workshop, is Linux laptop with Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS (Trusty 64bits), with ROS Indigo and Gazebo5. We assume that you installed those packages following these instructions.

Software for day 1

What is needed for today is the UsarSimRos node, the GazeboUsarSim plugin and the Robotics System Toolbox from Matlab.

  • Follow the instructions from the sourceforge page:
    • cd ~
    • mkdir catkin_usarsimros_ws
    • cd catkin_usarsimros_ws
    • mkdir src
    • cd src
    • source /opt/ros/indigo/setup.sh
    • catkin_init_workspace
    • cd ..
    • catkin_make
    • source ~/catkin_usarsimros_ws/devel/setup.sh
    • cd src
    • git clone git://git.code.sf.net/p/usarsimros/code usarsimros-code
    • cd usarsimros-code/usarsim_inf
    • wget https://staff.fnwi.uva.nl/a.visser/research/roboresc/2016/package.xml
    • mv CMakeLists.txt CMakeLists.hydro
    • wget https://staff.fnwi.uva.nl/a.visser/research/roboresc/2016/CMakeLists.txt
    • cd ../../..
    • catkin_make
  • Follow the instructions from this page to install the GazeboUsarSim plugin:
    • cd ~
    • git clone https://github.com/m-shimizu/RoboCupRescuePackage/
    • cd ~/RoboCupRescuePackage
    • source ./.bashrc.USARGazebo
    • mkdir build
    • cd build
    • cmake ..
    • make
    • cd ~/.gazebo/models
    • git clone https://github.com/m-shimizu/robocup2012_rvrl_pre1/
    • cd robocup2012_rvrl_pre1/meshes
    • unzip RC2012Pre1.dae.zip
    • cd ~/RoboCupRescuePackage
    • uncomment line 32-35 from USARGazebo.world
    • cd ~
    • git clone https://github.com/m-shimizu/JVRC_task_models/
    • cd ~/JVRC_task_models
    • mv JVRC_* ~/.gazebo/models
    • cd ~
    • rm -r ~/JVRC_task_models
  • Free access to Matlab, including the Robotics System Toolbox, could be requested following this offer.
    • Fill in as name of the competition 'The future of robot rescue simulation Workshop'.
    • The license will be associated with a MathWorks account, and you can activate the license at MathWorks License Center by the 'Associate License' button at the upper-right.
    • After activation you can use the 'Download Products' button at the License Details tab.
    • Search in Matlab central for the TurtleBot app.


The first tutorial is about making the connection to Gazebo with an USARSim arena by Masaru Shimizu, Chukyo University, Aichi, Japan In principal, the tutorial in presentation follows the online tutorial of controlling your robot from Matlab. The two code walkthroughts are recorded in ROSDemoWorkshop.mlx and TurtleBotCommunicationExample.mlx, but this is a format which is only supported in R2016a (to be released next week).

Alternative versions

The packages used during this workshop have complex dependencies. It is well possible that you don't have to downgrade from ROS Gravy or upgrade from Gazebo5 and still be succesfull in the workshop. Actually, such alternative installation could give usefull information on the sensitivities and dependencies of the packages, so please record your experience. Yet, our experience is that the least time is wasted when you upgrade/downgrade to the versions which are recommended here.

Workshop Program

Day 1 - Monday Feb 29

Day 2 - Tuesday March 1

Day 3 - Wednesday March 2

Day 4 - Thursday March 3

Day 5 - Friday March 4

Tutorial Preparation

  • Masaru Shimizu, Chukyo University, Aichi, Japan
  • Lauren Tabolinsky & Arie Weeren - MathWorks
  • Nate Koenig - Open Source Robotics Foundation
  • Satoshi Kochiyama - New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Japan
  • Stefan Kohlbrecher - TU Darmstad, Germany
  • Ricardo Tellez - The Construct Sim
  • Arnoud Visser, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The organizing committee

Organizational support by Yvonne Tjalsma.
This workshop is made possible by contributions of a number of companies and organizations: the Lorentz Center, the Intelligent Robotics Lab, the Intelligent Autonomous Systems fund, the Autonomous Intelligent Robots foundation, the Benelux Association for Artificial Intelligence, the RoboCup Federation, The Construct Sim and MathWorks. .


The background image is an artist impresion of NASA's Valkyrie Robot (courtesy NASA's Johnson Space Center).