Use Niryo robot through simulation

The simulation allows to control a virtual Ned directly from your computer.

Ned in Gazebo Simulation

Ned in Gazebo Simulation

In this tutorial, you will learn how to setup simulation on a computer.


You can use Niryo Studio with the simulation. To do so, you just have to connect Niryo Studio to “Localhost”.

Simulation environment installation


The whole ROS Stack is developed and tested on ROS Melodic which requires Ubuntu 18.04 to run correctly. The using of another ROS version or OS may lead to malfunctions of some packages.

To allow the simulation to run on your computer, you will need to install ROS and some packages.

Installation index:

Prepare environment


All terminal command listed are for Ubuntu users.

Place yourself in the folder of your choice and create a folder catkin_ws_niryo_ned as well as a sub-folder src:

mkdir -p catkin_ws_niryo_ned/src

Then go to the folder catkin_ws_niryo_ned and clone Ned repository in the folder src. For the future operation, be sure to stay in the catkin_ws_niryo_ned folder:

cd catkin_ws_niryo_ned
git clone src

Install ROS dependencies

Install ROS

You firstly need to install ROS Melodic. To do so, follow the ROS official tutorial here and chose the Desktop-Full Install.

Install additional packages

To ensure the functioning of all Ned’s packages, you need to install several more packages:

Method 1: Quick installation via ROSDep

For each packages, we have referenced all the dependencies in their respective package.xml file, which allow to install each dependency via rosdep command:

rosdep update
rosdep install --from-paths src --ignore-src --default-yes --rosdistro melodic --skip-keys "python-rpi.gpio"
Method 2: Full installation

ROS packages needed are:

  • build-essential
  • catkin
  • python-catkin-pkg
  • python-pymodbus
  • python-rosdistro
  • python-rospkg
  • python-rosdep-modules
  • python-rosinstall python-rosinstall-generator
  • python-wstool

To install a package on Ubuntu:

sudo apt install <package_name>

Melodic specific packages needed are:

  • moveit
  • control
  • controllers
  • tf2-web-republisher
  • rosbridge-server
  • joint-state-publisher-gui

To install a ROS Melodic’s package on Ubuntu:

sudo apt install ros-melodic-<package_name>

Setup Ned ROS environment


Be sure to be still placed in the catkin_ws_niryo_ned folder.

Then perform the make of Ned’s ROS Stack via the command:


If no errors occurred during the make phase, the setup of your environment is almost complete!

It is necessary to source the configuration file to add all Ned packages to ROS environment. To do so, run the command:

source devel/setup.bash

It is necessary to run this command each time you launch a new terminal. If you want to make this sourcing appends for all your futur terminals, you can add it to your bashrc file:

echo "source $(pwd)/devel/setup.bash" >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

Installation is now finished!

Simulation utilization


The simulation is a powerful tool which allow to test new programs directly on your computer which prevent to transfer new code on the robot.
It also helps for developing purpose → no need to transfer code, compile and restart the robot which is way slower than doing it on a desktop computer.

Without physics - Visualization

The visualization happens with Rviz which is a powerful tool.

Control with trackbar

This visualization allows an easy first control of the robot, and helps to understand joints disposal. You can access it by using the command:

roslaunch niryo_robot_description display.launch

Rviz should open with a window containing 6 trackbars. Each of these trackbars allows to control the corresponding joint.

Ned on Rviz

Example of trackbars use.

Control with ROS

Not only Rviz can display the robot, it can also be linked with ROS controllers to show robot’s actions from ROS commands!
This method can help you debugging ROS topics, services and also, API scripts.

To run it:

roslaunch niryo_robot_bringup desktop_rviz_simulation.launch
Ned on Rviz

Rviz opening, with the robot ready to be controlled with ROS!

With physics - Simulation

For the simulation, Ned uses Gazebo, a well known tool among the ROS community. It allows:

  • Collision.
  • World creation → An virtual environment in which the robot can deal with objects.
  • Gripper & Camera using.

The Niryo Gripper 1 has been replicated in Gazebo. The Camera is also implemented.


Gazebo also generates camera distortion, which brings the simulation even closer from the reality!

Launch simulation

A specific world has been created to use Ned in Gazebo with 2 workspaces.

To run it:

roslaunch niryo_robot_bringup desktop_gazebo_simulation.launch
Ned on Gazebo

Gazebo view, with the robot ready to be controlled with ROS!


You can edit Gazebo world to do your own! It’s placed in the folder worlds of the package niryo_robot_gazebo.

Simulation option

The user can disable 3 things by adding the specific string to the command line:

  • the Gazebo graphical interface: gui:=false.
  • the Camera & the Gripper - Vision & Gripper wise functions won’t be usable: gripper_n_camera:=false.


Gazebo can be very slow. If your tests do not need Gripper and Camera, consider using Rviz to alleviate your CPU.