Turtlebot Simulators

In this page, we will learn about two different simulators to test your Turtlebot robot programs.

You need to install the software:

sudo apt-get install ros-indigo-turtlebot-simulator

There is a couple of simulators that you can help you with your robot such as Gazebo, Stage, RViz and Stdr. The most used simulators are the Gazebo and the Stage.

Stage Simulator

In this section you will learn about:

  • Stage Simulator and how to launch it.
  • Customizing your simulator.

Stage is a 2D multi-robot simulator. It shows the user a world defined in a file with an extention .world. This world has everything the software needs to know from the obstacles, free space to robots and other objects.

Run the following command to run the Stage simulator:

roslaunch turtlebot_stage turtlebot_in_stage.launch

Click on the 2D Nav Goal option on the top bar and command the robot to go anywhere you want in the map.

The following picture is after you choose a position for the robot to go.


Open the turtlebot_stage directory and type


to be able to see all the files but we are intersted in the following files:


The .rviz file has all the settings for the RViz simulator so you don’t need to worry about it. The turtlebot.inc file defines the layout and the sensor for the turtlebot robot.


Make sure to keep a copy of the original files in case you did something wrong specially the .png .yaml .world files.

In order to edit the map you want to have, open the file maze.png with any editor and modify it.

Now you can run the simulator:

roslaunch turtlebot_stage turtlebot_in_stage.launch

You can also choose the .world and .yaml files by using the following command:

roslaunch turtlebot_stage turtlebot_in_stage.launch map_file:="~/path/to/new/file.yaml" world_file:="~/path/to/new/file.world"

Or in case you want to use the same files everytime you can run the following commands:

export TURTLEBOT_STAGE_MAP_FILE=~/path/to/new/file.yaml
export TURTLEBOT_STAGE_WORLD_FILE=~/path/to/new/file.world

or simply add them to your shell setup file:

echo export TURTLEBOT_STAGE_MAP_FILE=~/path/to/new/file.yaml >> devel/setup.sh
echo export TURTLEBOT_STAGE_WORLD_FILE=~/path/to/new/file.world >> devel/setup.sh

After you modify the map you may find out that the position of your robot is very close to an obstacle for example. Instead of moving the robot from the obstacle you can simply change the default position of the robot in the .world file by changing the values of the pose [x y z theta]


theta is in degree.

or you can change tho position when you launch the simulator:

roslaunch turtlebot_stage turtlebot_in_stage.launch initial_pose_y:=2.0 initial_pose_x:=1.0

You can also add an obstacle in any position in the map and with any size you like by creating a new .inc file:

define block model
 size [0.5 0.5 1.0]
 gui_nose 0

The size parameters are in meters and the gui_nose parameter is to show the direction which the obstacle is facing. Make sure to include the .inc you just created for the block in the .world file on the top and then you can specify other details for the block:

In the .world file:

include "blockFile.inc"

#add blocks and customize them
block( pose [ 2.0 1.0 1.0 45.0 ] color "red")
block( pose [ 1.0 2.0 2.0 0.0 ] color "black")


  • For more details about Stage on ROS, please refer to the Stage wiki page.
  • You can add default customization for the block inside the .inc file. You can refer to this page for more customization. Make sure if you changed anything in the .yaml file to adjust the .world file.

Gazebo Simulator

In this section we will bring up the turtlebot robot in the Gazebo simulator.

To run the Gazebo simulator run the following command:

roslaunch turtlebot_gazebo turtlebot_world.launch


  • For more details about Gazebo on ROS, please refer to the Gazebo official page.
  • Gazebo may need a couple of updates before running to update its database and it will take a few moments.

Using Teleop package with Gazebo and RViz


Try to finish the teleop tutorial before you complete this tutorial to make sure you have all the necessary packages.

First, you need to bring up the Gazebo simulator as mentioned before. Second, open a new terminal and type the following:

roslaunch turtlebot_teleop keyboard_teleop.launch

Try to move the robot around.


Now to be able to see what the robot is acually sees you can open a new terminal and launch the RViz simulator:

roslaunch turtlebot_rviz_launchers view_robot.launch


The RViz simulator may take a couple of minutes to be launched. Make sure you have a powerful PC with a good graphics card.