Robot simulation is an essential tool in every roboticist’s toolbox. A well-designed simula-
tor makes it possible to rapidly test algorithms, design robots, perform regression testing,
and train AI system using realistic scenarios.
A popular robotic simulator, Gazebo, offers the ability to accurately and efficiently
simulate populations of robots in complex indoor and outdoor environments. It provides
a robust physics engine, high-quality graphics, and convenient programmatic interfaces.
However, Gazebo lacks the feature of simulating the effects of control latency that would
make it a fully-fledged cyber-physical system (CPS) simulator.
I propose a Gazebo plugin to make Gazebo capable to simulate delay. Using this plugin
one can make measurements examining the effects of latency in simulated systems.
Using this plugin I make several measurements. First, I examine the behaviour of a
6-DOF arm in various latency scenarios.
I use this plugin to introduce network latency effects to the environment of Agile
Robotics for Industrial Automation Competition (ARIAC), which is a simulation-based
competition, with automated performance scoring. I evaluate performance of the Figment
Team’s solution in the competition with added network latency.
The application of the plugin in various use cases demonstrates that my proposed
plugin is useful for the evaluation of network effects. In the long run network operators
can use my extended simulation environment to provision networks in Cyber Physical
Production Systems (CPPS).