Simulation environments are representing an important tool for the development of autonomous robot controls. In the following, various simulation tools and their application in research are presented.
Unreal Engine 4
The Unreal Engine 4 is a professional game engine developed by Epic Games. The platform offers photorealistic rendering, VR connectivity, open world design, blueprint scripting and full C++ source access. Projects like NVIDIA FleX complement the existing PhysX engine with particle simulations. A marketplace provides access to a number of projects and content.
Finroc is realized as a Unreal project which starts the Finroc runtime environment and ports from the engine. It is possible to control and interact with robots in a complex, open, photorealistic world. The detailed simulation of sensor technology includes for example, typical camera-fades, -noise, or -blurring which have a wide influence on the controller in real systems.
Unreal is currently being used in road construction scenarios with the road rollers BW154 and BW147 for the AMMCOA project, where a few kilometers of the federal highway B10 are reconstructed and simulated. Likewise, Gator, Unimog, Backhoe and the environment detection of the mobile cranes of the SafeguARd project are tested virtually.