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julianoes and TSC21 gazebo_mavlink_interface: use cv instead of future
There was a race condition with using future/promise to synchronize the
IMU data between the two threads. Therefore, I switched to just using a
condition_variable with mutex instead.
Latest commit c90e8ad Dec 12, 2018

Gazebo for MAVLink SITL and HITL Build Status

This is a flight simulator for multirotors, VTOL and fixed wing. It uses the motor model and other pieces from the RotorS simulator, but in contrast to RotorS has no dependency on ROS. This repository is in the process of being re-integrated into RotorS, which then will support ROS and MAVLink as transport options:

If you use this simulator in academic work, please cite RotorS as per the README in the above link.

Install Gazebo Simulator

Follow instructions on the official site to install Gazebo. Mac OS and Linux users should install Gazebo 7.


Install the protobuf library, which is used as interface to Gazebo.

Ubuntu Linux

sudo apt-get install libprotobuf-dev libprotoc-dev protobuf-compiler libeigen3-dev \
			gazebo7 libgazebo7-dev libxml2-utils python-rospkg python-jinja2

Mac OS

pip install rospkg jinja2
brew install graphviz libxml2 sdformat3 eigen opencv
brew install gazebo7

An older version of protobuf (< 3.0.0) is required on Mac OS:

brew tap homebrew/versions
brew install homebrew/versions/protobuf260

Build Gazebo Plugins (all operating systems)

Clone the gazebo plugins repository to your computer. IMPORTANT: If you do not clone to ~/src/sitl_gazebo, all remaining paths in these instructions will need to be adjusted.

mkdir -p ~/src
cd src
git clone --recursive

Create a build folder in the top level of your repository:

mkdir Build

Next add the location of this build directory to your gazebo plugin path, e.g. add the following line to your .bashrc (Linux) or .bash_profile (Mac) file:

# Set the plugin path so Gazebo finds our model and sim
export GAZEBO_PLUGIN_PATH=${GAZEBO_PLUGIN_PATH}:$HOME/src/sitl_gazebo/Build
# Set the model path so Gazebo finds the airframes
export GAZEBO_MODEL_PATH=${GAZEBO_MODEL_PATH}:$HOME/src/sitl_gazebo/models
# Disable online model lookup since this is quite experimental and unstable

You also need to add the the root location of this repository, e.g. add the following line to your .bashrc (Linux) or .bash_profile (Mac) file:

# Set path to sitl_gazebo repository
export SITL_GAZEBO_PATH=$HOME/src/sitl_gazebo

Navigate into the build directory and invoke CMake from it:

cd ~/src/sitl_gazebo
cd Build
cmake ..

Now build the gazebo plugins by typing:


GStreamer Support

If you want support for the GStreamer camera plugin, make sure to install GStreamer before running cmake. Eg. on Ubuntu with:

sudo apt-get install gstreamer1.0-* libgstreamer1.0-*

Geotagging Plugin

If you want to use the geotagging plugin, make sure you have exiftool installed on your system. On Ubuntu it can be installed with:

sudo apt-get install libimage-exiftool-perl


If you wish the libraries and models to be usable anywhere on your system without specifying th paths, install as shown below.

Note: If you are using ubuntu, it is best to see the packaging section.

sudo make install


Gazebo will now launch when typing 'gazebo' on the shell:

. /usr/share/gazebo/
. /usr/share/mavlink_sitl_gazebo/
gazebo worlds/

Please refer to the documentation of the particular flight stack how to run it against this framework, e.g. PX4



To create a debian package for ubuntu and install it to your system.

cd Build
cmake ..
rm *.deb
cpack -G DEB
sudo dpkg -i *.deb