We are proud to announce the publication of the article "Grasping for the Seabed" in the Robotics & Automation Magazine. The Magazine (RAM) publishes technical articles of interest to the international robotics and automation community.

Posted by Mario Prats

In order to make UWSim easier to install and ready for groovy and future ROS distributions, we have created a 'catkinized' branch of UWSim and released deb packages for it. Now installing UWSim should be as easy as:

  $ apt-get install ros-groovy-uwsim

This required to make some changes in the data package download process and its location. Now, the first time you run UWSim it will download and install the data package under ~/.uwsim. The --dataPath argument should be working as before in case you want to specify additional paths to resources.
For those of you already developing under Groovy and requiring the UWSim sources, you should create a catkin workspace as described in the wiki:
We will be releasing for Hydro and forthcoming distributions as they are released by the ROS community.
Hope this helps! please open github issues for any problem you may find.
Posted by Mario Prats

UWSim has been moved to github. The pull-request mechanism will help a lot now there is more people using and contributing to the software. The main repository is hosted under the uji-ros-pkg organization:

If you have a copy of the old svn repo, you should now switch to the new repository if you want to get future updates. The github repository contains two branches: master and underwater_simulation_qt. These are the branches supported by the team at UJI. If you want to collaborate, the way to proceed now is to fork underwater_simulation into your git workspace, work on your fork, and then issue a pull request once you have a new feature ready to be integrated upstream. Please make sure you have pulled from the original repo before issuing a pull request in order to ensure that your branch can be directly merged. Ask us any question you may have.

We also encourage you to use the github issue system for any problem or bug you may find in the software. I apologize for the inconveniences that the migration may cause at this point, but I'm sure this will lead to a better workflow and will facilitate collaboration.

TRITON meeting

15 Nov 2012

The TRITON consortium during the meeting

This TRITON meeting was held at CIRS (UdG) on 15/11/2012. Some of the attendees were (left to right): P.J. Sanz (IP, UJI), P. Ridao (IP, UdG), R. Marín (UJI), J. Sales (UJI), G. Oliver (IP, UIB).

The IRSLab was in Soller (Mallorca) during the last week (1-5/Oct), participating in the final experiments of the TRIDENT FP7 european project.  See the following video for a summary:



Posted by Mario Prats

Latest updates on the osgOcean trunk fix some known problems in UWSim and bring new cool features. The most interesting one is the support for light refraction effects and underwater light scattering. Until now, the sea surface was completely opaque. Now it is possible to see through the water surface, being the image distorted due to the light refraction. Other fixes include a better rendering transition between the surface and underwater, or the possibility to choose between different pre-defined sky textures and lighting conditions (which was broken in previous commits of UWSim). You may want to try the new keybindings: 'R' enables/disables refraction, 'r' enables/disables reflections, 'T' enables/disables scattering, and '1', '2', '3' sets the different pre-defined light conditions. See below two short examples of refractions, corresponding to the cirs.xml and shipwreck.xml scenes. 



Posted by Mario Prats

A new update to UWSim includes support for resource folders outside the UWSim package. Therefore, it is now possible to store your 3D models, textures, XML and URDF files in arbitrary folders, and let UWSim find them by adding those folders to the UWSim resources folder list. This can be done with the --dataPath argument, and accepts both absolute and relative folders, e.g:

rosrun UWSim UWSim --dataPath /absolute/folder --dataPath relative/folder

In addition to the paths specified in the command line, UWSim adds --dataPath . --dataPath `rospack find UWSim`/data, i.e. searches in the current folder and in UWSim/data.

Finally, UWSim can now be compiled on ROS fuerte, and Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise), without (hopefully!) loosing compatibilty with previous versions of both. So, the range of supported platforms goes from Ubuntu 9.10 to 12.04, and from ROS cturtle to fuerte.

UWSim as a library

23 Jun 2012
Posted by Mario Prats

UWSim can now be used as a library that can be linked to other projects. Doing it is quite straightforward using ROS, since you just have to include the dependency to UWSim into your manifest.xml. The most external API layer is basically composed of two classes: SceneBuilder and ViewBuilder. The former builds a scene graph, taking as input an XML file describing the scene. The latter creates a Viewer or a View. Use the Viewer for the default UWSim viewer, and the View if you want to integrate the UWSim rendering panel into another application (e.g. using Qt, wxWidgets, etc.). Both SceneBuilder and ViewBuilder store public attributes that point towards the deepness of UWSim, e.g. the robots and objects in the scene, the ocean properties, etc.

For instance, the following snapshot shows a grasp planning package that computes a suitable grasp on a point cloud, and uses UWSim as a library for visualization: