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There are high quality software robotics simulators like Gazebo available today. What is the difference between a pure software simulation and a real world (say RC) scale model simulation? Is it possible to skip the scale model simulation and only do SW simulation and then build a full scale final product right away? Does scale model simulation have any advantages over say Gazebo?

I don't have any direct experience with developing a product in robotics but if I try to think then I guess the SW simulation may primarily be used to develop the very basics of a product and then scale model simulation may take over or complement SW simulation. My personal view is that any (even small scale) real world simulation/testing is beneficial because the features of real world (noise, dust etc.) can hardly be simulated in SW. Is this true? Also small scale model will be many times cheaper than full scale one.

I am considering an autonomous car (self-driving) as one of the possible products resulting from such simulation. I read that vision is one of the weak parts of SW simulators. I can think that sensing in general may be a weak part of SW simulators since any real sensor is imperfect and noisy which Gazebo may not take into account...

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closed as too broad by holmeski, Bence Kaulics, Ben, Mark Booth Oct 27 '16 at 14:11

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First Simulators available like Gazebo, Yes there are many simulators, You can check v-rep (free) or whebots or matlab (non-free) for example.

What is the difference between a pure software simulation and a real world (say RC) scale model simulation? The pure simulation don't count noise and non-accurate parameters you use

For example when you specify weight, torque or any other specs in the simulation you can't be sure all those specs are exactly true in real world.

Is it possible to skip the scale model simulation and only do SW simulation and then build a full scale final product right away? If you don't need to simulate electronic circuits, sensors and control system, In other words you want to simulate the mechanism only, Yes, Else no.

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