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Which of the following simulators is the best choice for simulating a swarm of AUVs working together to perform a mission? Please clarify your reason and if you know any better choice, I would greatly appreciate it if you kindly help me. Please consider the need for doing Hardware-In-The-Loop(HIL) simulation.

  1. Webots
  2. V-REP
  3. AUV Workbench
  4. Gazebo
  5. UWSim
  6. SwarmSimX

In addition, notice that capability to connect to the middle-wares like ROS is really important.

The other option is using a game engine like Blender but I think it needs a lot of developing effort and is time-consuming! Would you recommend this approach be used? If not, why not? And what would you recommend instead?

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We are using for the AUV-Avalon a simulation called Mars

http://rock-robotics.org/master/documentation/simulation/index.html

Unfortunately there is no ROS integration, but a Rock integration. Rock supports HIL in general.

For AUVs there are multiple integrations available which are collected in the mars-core package https://github.com/rock-simulation/orogen-mars_core

Mars does not provide hydrodynamic calculation, but the mars-core package provide a fossen-based model for auv motion-simulation.

The documentation therefore is (unfortunately) not finished yet but you can take a look to: https://gitorious.org/rock-tutorials/orogen-auv_simulation

The main advantage is the same interface for simulated and real systems. Rock also provides a lot of (auv) tooling.

But in the end the question is what exactly do you want to simulation, mission-planning, sensors, motion estimation. I think you have to specify this to find a good answer.

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