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The Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Simulator is a set of packages that include plugins and ROS applications that allow simulation of underwater vehicles in Gazebo.

If you are using this simulator for your publication, please cite:

    doi = {10.1109/oceans.2016.7761080},
    url = {},
    year = 2016,
    month = {sep},
    publisher = {{IEEE}},
    author = {Musa Morena Marcusso Manh{\~{a}}es and Sebastian A. Scherer and Martin Voss and Luiz Ricardo Douat and Thomas Rauschenbach},
    title = {{UUV} Simulator: A Gazebo-based package for underwater intervention and multi-robot simulation},
    booktitle = {{OCEANS} 2016 {MTS}/{IEEE} Monterey}

In you are willing to contribute to this package, please check the instructions in CONTRIBUTING.


Gazebo/ROS plugins

  • Implementation of Fossen's equations of motion for underwater vehicles
  • Thruster modules with implementations for thruster's angular velocity to output thrust force based on Yoerger el al., 1990 and Bessa et al., 2006
  • Lift and drag plugin for simulation of fins
  • Simulation of 3D current velocity models (constant or based on first-order Gauss-Markov processes)
  • Sensor plugins


  • For AUVs
    • casadi-based effort allocation algorithm
    • Geometric tracking PD controller
  • For ROVs
  • Teleoperation nodes for AUVs and ROVs

Gazebo world models

  • Ocean wave shaders for wave animation
  • Scenarios from the SWARMs project demonstration locations (e.g. Mangalia, Romania and Trondheim, Norway)
  • Subsea BOP panel for manipulation tasks

Vehicle models


This packages has been released for the following ROS distributions

Once the ros-<distro>-desktop-full package for the desired distribution is installed, the uuv_simulator can be installed as

sudo apt install ros-kinetic-uuv-simulator
sudo apt install ros-lunar-uuv-simulator
sudo apt install ros-melodic-uuv-simulator

For instructions on how to install the package from source, check this instructions page

Purpose of the project

This software is a research prototype, originally developed for the EU ECSEL Project 662107 SWARMs.

The software is not ready for production use. However, the license conditions of the applicable Open Source licenses allow you to adapt the software to your needs. Before using it in a safety relevant setting, make sure that the software fulfills your requirements and adjust it according to any applicable safety standards (e.g. ISO 26262).


UUV Simulator is open-sourced under the Apache-2.0 license. See the LICENSE file for details.

For a list of other open source components included in UUV Simulator, see the file 3rd-party-licenses.txt.


ROS Kinetic ROS Lunar ROS Melodic