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Robotics simulators represent the world in software. They range in complexity from the simple and only operate in a top-down 2D world, or very complex with photo-realistic rendering and physics modeling. (Image from v-rep)

This is a pretty comprehensive list of robotics simulators lifted from this old (and closed) StackExchange question.

A list of some robot simulators:

  1. Player Project (Stage is a 2D simulator, Gazebo is a 3D simulator with physics engine, opensource)
  2. MORSE (general purpose indoor/outdoor 3D simulator)
  3. Microsoft Robotics Studio (simulator + control interface)
  4. KiKS (Matlab plugin, only for Khepera + control interface)
  5. MobotSim (for point-like robots, more of algorithm implementation )
  6. Karel (Pascal/Logo like)
  7. Peekabot
  8. MRPT
  9. Carmen
  10. Webots (closed source)
  11. Simbad (2D/3D simulator in Java and Jython)
  12. Robocode (A Java/ .NET suit)
  13. Rossum's Playhouse (C/C++ suit)
  14. V-REP (3D, source available, Lua scripting, APIs for C/C++, Python, Java, Matlab, URBI, 2 physics engines, full kinematic solver, etc.)
  15. OpenRAVE (C and Python interfaces, 3D, optional physics engine integration)
  16. Robotics Toolbox (Matlab toolbox)

Some references on robot simulators:

  1. Development environments for autonomous mobile robots: A survey
  2. Open source robotics toolkits
  3. Updated review of robotics software platforms
  4. Existing Simulators - [email protected]
  5. List at Asaf Matan's website

Typically, a simulator will either be for mobile navigation, or manipulation. Although more and more these are converging.