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Mobile robot simulation is a valuable tool for education, research and design purposes. The last decade has seen a considerable increase in the development of new software tools for mobile robot simulation, all of which have reached different levels of maturity. This paper presents a survey of the existing tools and discusses their strengths and drawbacks in terms of simplicity, flexibility, fields of application, among other desirable features. This discussion should be valuable to students, teachers, engineers and researchers alike who are seeking adequate tools for simulating autonomous mobile robots. Introductory examples showing the usage of three of the most mature and widely used open-source simulators (Carmen, Gazebo and Open Dynamics Engine) are also included.
Date of Conference: 23-28 Oct. 2010