I'm reading the book Introduction to AI Robotics By Robin R. Murphy and it the first character said, more or less, that after chapter 5 I will be able to design and implement my own robots, either in a real robot or in simulation.

I don't have a lot of money to buy the components to implement a robot, so I want to do it in simulation.

My question is: where I can do a robot simulation?

I've found ROS is suitable for this but I'm not sure. Is a good idea to use ROS with this book?

I have no idea about how to do it or what do I need because this is the first time I do something with robotics.

I have also found this Virtual Simulator For Robots.

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    $\begingroup$ How complex do you want to start? So what sensors and actuators? $\endgroup$ – fibonatic Sep 20 '17 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ I have no idea. This the first time I do something with robotics. $\endgroup$ – VansFannel Sep 21 '17 at 5:23
  • $\begingroup$ But you at least should have an idea of what kind of AI you want to do at least. Do you want to start with path finding for example? $\endgroup$ – fibonatic Sep 21 '17 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ I'm studying an Advanced Artificial Intelligence Master's degree and this book is for a subject of it. Yes, path finding looks like easy. I think I have to start with the easiest one. $\endgroup$ – VansFannel Sep 21 '17 at 11:44
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    $\begingroup$ I would also suggest that you build a very simple "hello world" robot in reality. There are a lot of "robot car" kits out that that run on an Arduino. It won't teach you much in the way of AI, but you'll learn about some of the real world problems that robots face. $\endgroup$ – NomadMaker Feb 4 '18 at 3:54

There are many tutorials and forums to help in learning ROS. It can work on a Raspberry Pi, so you don't need an expensive computer to run Linux.

ROS includes (or is associated with) Gazebo, a robot simulator.

With ROS you get a lot of things involving movement that are easy to use. You also get drivers for many common sensors. You get SLAM and a few kinds of path planning.

What you don't get, as far as I know, is an overall goal planner. In other words, the AI part of the robot's brain. Which is good because you'll need to do that part as your degree. :)


Some well-known simulators used in robotics include Gazebo (probably one of the most adopted), Player/stage and Webots (this one is not free).


I'd recommend V-REP for multiple reasons:

  1. It is a robotics simulator with GUI.
  2. It has many pre-installed robot models.
  3. It works with ROS.
  4. It has detailed tutorials and an official forum.

Check the demonstration video here.


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