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Note: This tutorial assumes that you have completed the previous tutorials: ROS tutorials.
(!) Please ask about problems and questions regarding this tutorial on answers.ros.org. Don't forget to include in your question the link to this page, the versions of your OS & ROS, and also add appropriate tags.

Launching robot in Gazebo Simulator and driving it

Description: How to launch MRP2 robot in Gazebo World and How to explore areas by driving it via different ways

Tutorial Level: BEGINNER

Next Tutorial: Explore surrounding areas and make a map

Connecting Controller to PC

If you haven't got a joystick controller, directly pass to the second section.

Connect your controller's receiver to your PC. Usually it can recognize it in several seconds. If you want to verify, you can use dmesg | tail -n7 command.

Launching Gazebo Simulator

If this is your first time controlling the robot from PC, ROS_MASTER_IP and ROS_HOSTNAME variables might be emtpy if you are just going to simulate the robot on gazebo that should be fine. For verifying, Open up a terminal on your PC and type;


Verifying environment variables in easy way

You can write this command to simple file for running local applications:

$ touch ~/.ros_local_bashrc 

$ echo "export ROS_MASTER_IP= && export ROS_HOSTNAME=" >> ~/.ros_local_bashrc 

And just source it everytime when you started a new terminal:

$ source .ros_local_bashrc

Launching Gazebosim

If you didn't set up the control or you've already verified variables are empty, just enter:

$ roslaunch mrp2_gazebo mrp2_gazebo.launch

Necessary node's will run and Gazebo screen will appear:


You can interact with world by moving objects, adding new ones etc. But if you will try to run amcl, Don't move the robot and walls, because, by default, the map which saved for amcl is set to those locations of robot and walls. If you will try gmapping only, you can locate walls and robot, your coordinate on new map will start with your starting position when the gmapping process's start.

Controlling Robot

This section describes Joystick and rqt_robot_steering methods. To find out other methods, Please take a look at ROS Tutorials.

Controlling via Joystick

With a default configurations, now, you can control your robot via Joystick Controller. Just try buttons to look what are they doing, or take a look at these:


Button    Function
1         Move Forward/Backward Linear - Analog
2         Move Clockwise/Counter Clockwise Angular - Analog
3         Activate/Deactivate Gamepad
4         Not Used
5         Decrease Velocity Limit
6         Increase Velocity Limit
7         Connection Indicator LED

Controlling via rqt_robot_steering

rqt_robot_steering is a tool that simply publishes a messages to robot's velocity command topics.


For opening up, in another terminal (We recommend terminal tabs), be sure the ROS_MASTER_IP and ROS_HOSTNAME variables are empty and type;

$ rosrun rqt_robot_steering rqt_robot_steering

and be sure, the topic is set to /mobile_base_controller/cmd_vel

Now, You can use slider buttons to send velocity commands to robot.

You should take some time to understand how robot steering works. After that you can move forward to our navigation tutorial.

2019-04-20 12:56