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subt / roadmap

Virtual Testbed Roadmap

September 2018

Software version 1.0


  • Ubuntu 18.04
  • ROS Melodic
  • Gazebo 9


  • Tunnel environment
    • A set of tile-able tunnel segments.
    • A staging area with a tunnel entrance. The staging area designates where a team starts.
    • Two predefined configurations of the tunnel segments and staging area.
  • Sample cave and urban environments
    • A set of tileable cave and urban segments.
    • Two staging areas, one that is compatible with cave segments and another that is compatible with urban segments.
    • One preconfigured environment for each cave and urban.
  • Scoring and game mechanics plugin.
  • Parameterized launch files, demos, and documentation.
  • One medium and one small wheeled ground vehicle.
    • The medium wheeled vehicle is capable of carrying a small drone
    • Each vehicle will support multiple sensor configurations.
  • One medium and one small quadcopter.
    • The small vehicle can be mounted to a medium wheeled vehicle, and launched from the wheeled vehicle.
    • Each aerial vehicle will support multiple sensor configurations.
  • 1 360 degree lidar sensor similar to a velodyne.
    • Long range and short range
  • 1 planar lidar similar to a hokuyo.
    • Long range and short range
  • 1 color 2D camera sensor.
    • High resolution, and low resolution
  • 1 RGBD camera sensors
    • High resolution and low resolution
  • 1 IMU sensor.
  • Simple communication model that models RF communication.
  • Vehicle mounted flashlights and LEDs that are mounted on vehicles.
  • Simple battery model that will limit the runtime of a vehicle based.
  • Realistic lighting conditions based on lightmaps, and dynamic lighting using opengl and shaders.
  • Global wind model that does not take into account the environment models.

February 2019

Software Version 2.0



Two packages for running the virtual testbed can be used

  1. subt_gazebo: Utilizes Gazebo 9, and is deprecated with the release of Software Version 2.0
  2. subt_ign: Utilizes Ignition Acropolis. This package will replace subt_gazebo in May 2019 with the release of Software Version 3.0


The following features apply to both the subt_gazebo and subt_ign packages.

  • Communication model with plugin-based interface.
  • Additional communication models that include
    • Distance-based received power
      • Binary received power based on maximum range.
    • Log-normal received power
      • Log-normal fading based on range.
    • Visibility based power
      • Log-normal fading based on range with exponent set by visibility heuristic.
  • Cave environment models
  • Urban environment models

The following features are available when using the subt_ign package.

May 2019

Software Version 3.0



The subt_gazebo package will no longer be available, being replaced by subt_ign. This software version will also mark feature freeze for the Tunnel Circuit event.


  • Improved urban and cave environments
    • Additional segments will be available
    • Each segment will have improved material properties.
  • Improved wind model that can be localized to segments of an underground environment.
  • Improved communication model
  • Additional artifacts
  • Improved vehicle battery model
    • Rechargeable batteries
    • Incorporate torque
  • Additional sensors
    • Thermal camera
    • Oxygen/gas sensor
  • Particle effects such as smoke
  • Dynamic obstacles in SubT environments
  • Access to cloud-based simulation
  • Additional friction models
  • Visualization tools for model debugging
    • Inertia, center of mass, collision shape, joint, and contact visualizations