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What's new in MORSE 1.4?
- Numpy is now needed for Morse. It is used in several places where
computations using mathutils is not precise enough (float vs double
- Time management has been improved in various way. A **morse_sync** tool has
been introduced to improve precision and timing of high-frequency components
(#683). If available in Blender (Blender > 2.77), it is also possible to
accelerate or slow-down the simulation (#388). Moreover, Morse now try to
compute automatically the right time settings. If you meet any problem
related to time, make sure to read the Time and Event documentation and / or
report issue to the Morse project.
- the human avatar in MORSE has been entierly rewritten. The new human model is
much simpler, yet much nicer (in particular, it features mesh skinning for
good looking animations). On the downside, the interactive mode is gone for
now. Depending on interest, it can be revived in a future version (possibly
through external scripts, for added flexibility).
- the semantic of the Waypoint and Destination actuators has slightly changed:
once the destination is reached, they do not attempt anymore to actively stay
at this position. This permits another motion actuator to 'take over' the
control of the robot. The previous behaviour is still desirable in certain
cases (notably for flying robots), and can be re-enabled by setting the
property `RemainAtDestination` to true:
``. This option is also added to
the RotorcraftWaypoint actuator, but it defaults to true (hence, no
behaviour change compared to MORSE 1.3).
- the orientation actuator has been enhanced to possibly work more
realistically, by limiting the speed of the rotations. The default is still
to go directly to the desired orientation.
- The keyboard and joystick actuators do not call anymore the robot
`apply_speed` method with values set to zero when no input is received. The
previous behaviour prevented them to be used in combination with another
motion actuator (they would always overwrite other motion commands with
- The Armature actuator has two new services (`rotate_joints` and
`translate_joints`) that let the user set the rotations/translations of only
a subset of the armature's joints by providing a custom mapping {joint name:
- The rotorcraft_attitude actuator has been extended to be able to control the
rotorcraft in yaw rate or in absolute yaw (using the ``YawRateControl``
property). If it is the case, you can configure if you want to configure to
use ``normal yaw`` or ``north`` using the property ``UseAngleAgainstNorth``.
Last, you can configure the actuator to use a linear or quadratic thrust
model using ``LinearThrust``.
- Introduce the drag "actuator" which allows to simulate the drag (air
resistance) force opposite to the move of the robot. It allows more
realistic simulation (if desired).
- Introduce the external_force actuator which allows to apply external force
(typically force from the environment such as wind) to a robot. It has the
same interface than force_torque, but apply force in the global frame.
- Introduce the quadrotor_dynamic_control actuator which allows to control a
quadrotor from the speed of its four engine, using simple dynamic equation.
- **longitude**, **latitude** and **altitude** are not anymore properties of
the GPS sensor but must be set at the environment level. Moreover, the
property **angle_against_north** allows to configure the angle between the
X-axis and the geographic north (must be positive when the Blender X-axis is
East of true North, negative if is West of true North).
- Introduce the new high-level sensor Attitude, allowing to compute the
attitude of the system
- Introduce the sensor Magnetometer which allows to compute the magnetic field
vector of the Earth.
- Extend the sensor IMU to return also the magnetic field vector.
- Fixed the collision sensor: it now detects collision only when it is actually
colliding (before, any object in a 1x1x1m box around the sensor would return
a collision). While here, improve the documentation with a complete example.
- Introduce the airspeed sensor , which allows to compute the speed of a
vehicle relative to the air.
- Introduce ECEF, Geodetic, Geocentric modifiers, allowing to convert
coordinates from Blender world to ECEF-r or Geodetic or Geocentric
coordinates (and vice-versa). It should improve interoperability with flight
systems in general.
- Introduce Feet modifier, to convert imperial units to meter buts (and
- Introduce a binding for the Mavlink protocol easing the interoperability of
Morse with a lot of free autopilots / architectures.
- Some ROS 'housekeeping' has been performed in this release, including
removing the need for rospkg (easier installation!), removing ROS interface
with the non-standard (and unused?) JointPositions message and removing
references roslib.load_manifest(), a memory of rosbuild-era.
- Handle automatically the case where attributed published by Morse are not
owned by it.
- Allow to specify a ``stop_time`` for the simulation (in simulated seconds)
- Make ``lookahead`` configurable for the Morse federate
- Add an adapter for Depth Cameras.
Builder API
API addition
- It is now possible to import environment composed of multiples scenes. The
user should select which is the "main_scene" when importing the environment.
Moreover, a method "Environment.set_background_scene" has been added to configure the
scene to use in background (#651).
- The method "bpymorse.set_speed", used to changed the frequency of Morse
main loop is now deprecated in favor of "Environment.simulator_frequency".
- The method ``Environmement.set_time_scale`` allows to accelerate or
slow-down the simulation (#388).
- The new method "Environment.use_vsync" allows to control the vsync parameter
- Robots created in loop are handled smartly. They are still usable as
previously, but it is also possible to access them using the list foos (if
your robot name is foo) (#358).
- Streams are now created lazily, fixing control with large number of robots /
sensors (#626).
What's new in MORSE 1.3?
- MORSE now installs by default support for almost all its supported
middlewares (ROS, YARP, MOOS, HLA, and (partially) pocolibs). This should
improve end-users' first experience with MORSE (it 'just works')
- new sandbox environment. Check `the doc for a screenshot <>`_.
- Introduce the new actuator "arucomarker", allowing to
simulate the ArUco augmented-reality marker.
- The timestamp field is now in seconds instead of milliseconds (#498)
- Semantic camera gains two properties (#396):
- `tag` allows to restrict the kind of object you want to detect
- `relative` returns the position information of the various objects from
the camera sensor frame (and not the global frame).
- Laser Scanner sensors gain the possibility to return also a
remission value at the `rssi` level.
- Introduce the new sensor "Radar Altimeter", allowing to retrieve the
distance to the ground.
- Improvement of Acceleromter, IMU and Velocity sensor. They now works
properly with robots with or without physics, and returns properly
information in the sensor frame. The computation method is configurable
using the `ComputationMode` property, counterpart of the `ControlType` in
several actuators.
- Introduce the new sensor "Barometer" allowing to compute the atmospheric pressure.
- Each datastream manager now get an action handler, allowing them to run some
specific middleware behaviour once by simulation turn.
- Socket middleware now accepts the keyword 'port' to specify on which port
you want the socket binds itself.
- It is now possible to synchronise with an external clock using the socket
middleware. See the documentation of **time_sync**.
- Support for Moos has been enhanced, allowing to use multiples Moos nodes.
Moreover, it supports additional actuators such as teleport or light
- HLA can be now used as a general purpose middleware, i.e. it is possible to
import / export any actuator / sensor using the HLA interface. Through, for
moment, no Simulation Object Model (SOM) has been formally defined for
Builder API
API addition
- Add a method Environment.configure_stream_manager allowing to pass
option/information to each datastream manager.
It is now possible to control the mist settings in Morse, using
Environment.enable_mist`` and ``Environment.set_mist_settings.
- Time management in Morse has been clarified (#388)
- Implement the notion of zone, i.e. a 3d space which several properties which
can trigger various behaviours in the simulation.
- Add new services for the CamaraFP settings.
- F7 moves CamaraFP above robots
- Each component now has two new services:
- ``get_properties`` returns the list of the properties of the component
- ``get_configurations`` returns the value of the different properties of
the component.
- Most robots are now using more realistic physical behaviour.
- Armatures have received some love, with support for placing and controlling
inverse kinematics targets to easily control the full skeleton with inverse
- The default ``ControlType`` of several actuators (v_omega, waypoint,
xy_omage, keyboard, joystick) has been switched from "Position" to
"Velocity". It basically means it relies more on the underlaying physic
engine, providing a more realistic behaviour, but it may be less repeatable.
Th previous behaviour can be restored by setting explicitly the
``ControlType`` parameter of the actuator (#117).
- Each sensor has now an additional field ``timestamp`` exporting when the
data has been computed, in simulated time.
- the GPS sensor has been vastly improved. In addition to (x, y, z) position,
it can also returns geodesic coordinates and velocity in the ``raw`` level
of details. Moreover, it exposes also time and heading in the ``extended``
- Batteries are now rechargeable in ``ChargingZone``.
- ``pocolibs`` is now able to export velodyne sensor.
- Add a new ``DepthCamera`` publisher.
- ``VideoCamera`` now publish base64 encoded RGBA image.
Builder API
API changes
- ``place_camera`` and ``aim_camera`` has been deprecated in favor of
``set_camera_location`` and ``set_camera_rotation``.
- ``Velodyne`` became ``VelodyneRayCast`` and ``VelodyneZB`` became ``Velodyne``
``VelodyneZB`` still works for compatibility.
API addition
- Add a method ``Environment.set_physics_step_sub`` allowing to control the
number of substep used by the physics engine. A bigger number will make the
simulation slower, but more realistic. The default value in Morse is 2.
API addition
- Add two methods ``sleep`` and ``time`` to handle time-related request. These
methods are equivalent to the one provided by the ``Time`` module, but
considers properly the simulated time. It is recommended to use these
methods over ``Time`` one.
- morse tools has now some options to easily create custom simulations: check
'morse {create|rm|add|...} --help' for more on that topic! (commit
71fc8a81121b, issue #396)
- Modifiers use now a class-base scheme, similarly to datastream input /
output (#330).
- Improve the Light actuator, including more configurable parameters (in
particular, the color of light and its energy). A new service 'toggle'
allows to control it.
- New 3D sound actuator {play,pause,stop} from local mp3 file.
- Add a joystick actuator allowing to control directly your robot using a
- Introduce Morsy, the Morse mascot, now available directly in the simulator.
- Introduce PatrolBot, a differential robot developed by MobileRobots.
- A new sensor `Velocity` allows to retrieve properly the velocities of a robot
which use a physic controller.
- The semantic camera performance has been improved. It has a new option 'noocclusion'
to disable occlusion testing and get even better performances.
- The thermometer has been reworked to handle multiple fire sources,
potentially of different nature
- Introduce a new sensor collision which allows to detect if the robot is in
collision with some objects of the environment.
- Fix Camera resolutions ratio issue #371. We now create one Blender scene for
each camera in the simulation, with specific render resolution.
Builder API
It is now possible to handle loop in builder script (#357). See
:doc:`user/builder` for documentation about it.
API addition
- `make_ghost` method allows to transform the robot in ``ghost mode``
(transparent and with no associated physics)
- `mass` method allows to setup the mass of any component.
- `set_log_level` allows to configure easily the level of log of each
component. A service with similar name allows to do that at runtime too.
- `set_speed_camera` allows to change the speed of the viewport camera.
- `set_friction` allows to change friction parameter with the ground
API changes
- `add_default_interface` has now a smarter behaviour (#399)
The Python bindings for MORSE have been completely rewritten and is now much
more efficient (based on *asynchat* API). However, it is mostly an internal
rewrite, and the interface does not change.
Rewrite the multi-node socket client/server (internal). Use JSON instead of
unsafe `pickle`.
- Remove old Blender 2.4 geolandloader code
- Add tools/terrain/ to build map from a DEM and an Orthoimage
- MORSE is mature! stable release !
- Unit-test coverage has been substentially improved
- Documentation of component is now partially auto-generated: this should bring
a better, up-to-date, complete documentation, including code examples
- MORSE has a new logo!
- All components now explicitely expose their data fields and properties with
respectively `add_data` and `add_property`.
- Introduced "abstraction levels" that allow to define several levels of
realism for a given component (#166). Many components remain to be ported to
use this interface, though.
- Many component classes have been renamed to be more readable and match
Builder conventions
- Creation and configuration of armatures in Blender, suitable for MORSE is now
properly documented.
- Most of the component do not need a Blender file anymore (only the one with
complex meshes or armature are kept) (#221).
- Blender file for components do not require any game property of logic brick
anymore. It is now fully created within the Builder API. This means that any
Blender model can be used as MORSE model, without specific configuration
- components can now be easily profiled for performance assessment from the
Builder API.
- Subsential improvement regarding the PR2 robot support. Besides 2D
navigation, the robot's joint state and joint control via standard tools like
`pr2_tuck_arm` works out-of-the-box. PR2 joint name have been updated to
match the latest version. Several scripts allow to create a PR2 with variable
level of equipement.
- Fixed the `WheeledRobot` class of robot that had a erratic physics behaviour.
Make `Pioneer3DX` inherit from this robot class (#245).
- Complete rewrite of the armature actuator. It can now track joints state
(interpolating joint rotation if required, and not only 'jumping' to the
target position) and execute trajectories with interpolation. It also
introduces support for prismatic joints (#231, #232).
- `Waypoint` actuator: improve handeling of interruption (the robot motion now
actually stops).
- New sensor: depth camera (Thanks to Gilberto's patch in Blender 2.65), with
specialization like Kinect (#122, #123, #138). It uses Python 3.3
`memory_view` for fast, copy-less transfer of binary data between the OpenGL
buffers, the C processor, and the interface.
- Laser sensors have been reorganized and grouped in one single category
(#155, #226).
- Odometry now expose several abstraction levels (*raw*, *differential*,
- New sensor: armature pose. This sensor superseeds previous sensors like
`kuka_pose` or `pr2_posture` by proving a clean interface to armature states.
- New sensor: Velodyne
- New special *compound sensor* that allows to merge the output of several
sensors. Used for instance to merge the joints values of the different PR2
armature in a single joint state (#240).
- Former `rosace` sensor has been renamed to a more approriate
`search_and_rescue` sensor.
- Laser scanner ranges ordering has been reversed to match ROS conventions.
Builder API
- One class per component: for instance, `Robot('atrv')` becomes `ATRV()`. The
documentation page of each component gives an example.
- New `FakeRobot()` for clock and other static components (like environment
- Former functions `configure_mw` and `configure_service` replaced by new
`add_interface`, `add_datastream`, `add_service` or `add_default_interface`
that sets an interface for a whole robot (#217).
- Components are now automatically renamed after the variable names used in the
Builder script, provide much more natural naming schemes. Names can still be
configured explicitely with `` (#133).
- Component profiling with `component.profile()`
- Errors in Builder scripts are now better handled, with meaningful error
- The simulation can now be configured from the Builder script for 3D output
(split screen), including configuration of eye separation.
- Added ability to automatically save your scene as a Blender file from the
Builder script.
- Added a `fastmode` option when setting up the environment: in *fastmode*,
only wireframes are displayed. This improves MORSE loading time and
performance, but some sensors (like cameras) won't work. Most of the
unit-tests now use this mode.
.. warning::
It basically means that scene are incompatible between release 0.6 and 1.0.
To help the conversion, you can use the tool available `here
Basically, you can use it like that::
sh >
You may need to edit the resulting file manually to fix last issues. If you
get in trouble, feel free to send us a mail on with your
- Added a new `empty` environment, especially suited for tests.
- Interfaces can now implement data serialization/deserialization in explicit
classes: no more hacky appending of free functions (#144, #145).
- GPS : cleaned, to be validated
- Odometry now publish both Odometry and TF
- Pose publish only Pose (no more Odometry)
- Laser scanners can now export point clouds (`PointCloud2`)
- New `PointCloud2` publisher for depth camera, Kinect in progress
- Support for the JointTrajectory ROS action for armature control
- Special unittest class for ROS tests that takes care of setting up an
appropriate ROS environment (including launching `roscore`).
- Support for cancelling asynchronous requests
- Support for exporting matrices and 3D transformations
- Large rewrite of pocolibs interface, now using `ctypes` instead of SWIG
bindings. This simplies a lot the compilation and maintenance of these
- Improved the `text` interface, to allow for instance output as `.csv` files.
The Python bindings for MORSE have been completely rewritten, now supporting a
modern asynchronous interface (based on Python 3.2 *futures*). It is also
deemed as feature complete: it supports discovery of the simulation components,
synchronous/asynchronous service invokation (including service cancellation)
and synchronous/asynchronous read/write of datastream (#216).
MORSE unit-tests now use this new API.
- Substential changes in MORSE internals:
- lots of refactoring, to improve code consistency (including
{middleware->datastream} (#186))
- many files have been renamed for consistency
- MORSE now uses the MORSE_RESOURCE_PATH environment variable to look after
custom location for assets: convenient to store your own model out of MORSE
tree (#187).
- Added configuration file required by the Travis buildbot
- Several large examples or tutorials have been removed (because either
deprecation or doubtful usefulness)
- New CSS for documentation, based on GitHub *minimal* style.
- Numerous bugfixes, including:
- the 'objects flying around' bug, that was due to the way Blender handle
transformation matrices (#139).
- a bug affecting the color of some materials
- bug with logging when restarting the simulation in special cases (#183)
- Compatibility with Blender from 2.59 to 2.64a.
- MORSE is now compatible with Windows 32 and 64 bit. Thanks to Markus Sander
for providing the patches and testing
- The 'morse' executable has slightly different options now. run 'morse -h' for
- Added support for 'no color' and 'reverse colors' log output.
- Added support for specifying the geometry of the simulator window.
- Unit-tests coverage improved
- MORSE (core, ie with only socket support) is now packaged in Debian (and
Ubuntu): morse-simulator
User interface
- Possibility to configure and display the view from a simulated camera inside
the Blender screen
- Reset the position of the global camera (CameraFP) by pressing F8
- Major rewriting of the IMU sensor and odometry sensor, which now returns more
precise datas. While here, add some modifiers to allow more realistic
behaviour of such sensors.
- New differential drive actuator associated to the previously mentioned
robots, called 'v_omega_diff_drive'. It converts a given v, omega into left
and right wheel speeds
- Waypoint actuator can be configured to give target destination also in the Z
axis. Useful for helicopters and submarines
- Several models for quadrotors, including more or less realistic controls
(using waypoints, stabilized fly model or directly in force). ROS support
rely on ASCTEC messages.
- New more physically realistic robots: Segway RMP 400 and Pioneer 3-DX. Thanks
to David Hodo and Pierrick Koch for their work on the physics simulation
- B21 robot model
- New textured model for the Yamaha R-Max helicopter
- Simple model of a submarine robot, along with an underwater environment
Human simulation
- Several behaviour fixes in the human control mode
- Human avatar can now be correctly placed in the scene using the Builder API
- New tutorial to learn how to control the human avatar
- Documentation of simulation of multiple humans
- Kinect-based control of the human in the simulator
- Corrections to the bounding boxes of buildings in outdoor scenarios. Also
added textures to the buildings
- Dependencies on Blender Python API are now wrapped in a single file
- Lots of improvements on ROS compatibility. Many new tutorials with detailed
explanations, including an update ROS navigation tutorial.
- Corrections to YARP middleware, allowing it to export data stored as Python
- Improvements to the multi-node architecture using HLA. Including new
tutorials and documentation
- Updated ROS support for fuerte compatibility
- Make table of contents of the components with images
- Add methods in builder to configure UTM coordinates and temperature in the
scene. Previously in the Scene_Script_Holder
- MORSE 0.5 requires Blender >= 2.59 and < 2.62 (because of some changes in the
matrices handling - support for Blender >= 2.62 is expected for next release)
- Lots of cleaning (middleware empties have been removed)
- The command line ``morse run {scene.blend|}`` now works as expected (*i.e.*,
starts the simulation as soon as Blender opens).
Optional arguments can be added and are passed to the script
- Unit-testing support for MORSE (cf doc: dev/testing). Added a target to the build file
('make test').
- First version of a graphical user interface to add components to a scene
- Plugin for loading DTM/IGN data has been ported to Blender 2.5/Python 3.2
- Support of ROS services. Partial support for ROS actions (cf commit 02fda)
- The long-standing issue with the socket server (bug #162) has been solved. It
is now possible to listen to a socket stream without prior initialization.
Builder API
- New export script (available as Blender add-on) to export a MORSE Blender
scene to the MORSE Builder format.
- Added support for multi-node configuration in the builder API
- Added support for static, passive objects
- Many examples and tutorials have been converted to the Builder API.
- Static objects have a redefined set of options to make them active or not,
graspable or not, etc. See :doc:`user/others/passive_objects`)
- New components that can be created from the Builder API, such as:
- Infrared sensor
- Battery sensor
- Light switch actuator
- Camera images can now be vertically flipped via the ``vertical_flip`` property
- New abstract API for multi-node implementation. The current socket-based and HLA
implementation now use it
- This allows for having a single builder script to be used on all nodes. The
configuration of each node is done using the environment variable ``MORSE_NODE``
Much work has been done in this domain:
- New human avatar with a much improved behaviour/animation. It is controllable
from mouse + keyboard or Kinect (experimental)
- The avatar features a 'manipulation mode' where objects can be picked and
dropped, and special objects like drawers and cupboards can be opened.
- The human avatar can be easily added via the Builder API (instantiate the
'Human' class)
MORSE 0.4.x - "Multinode" release
General changes
- Full support for Blender 2.59 and Python 3.2.
- Reorganized the documentation, with a brand new main page.
Architectural changes
- Added infrastructure for multi-node functionality
- Use the Builder API to create robots from their description in Python script
- Changed directory structure and file names for ease of use of the Builder API
- Use the Python logging interface
- Added support for multiple middleware bindings per component
- Added support for services through Pocolibs middleware
- ROS support for the robot's cameras
- Added support for HLA middleware
- Added support for MOOS middleware
New components
- Added a Hummer robot that implements the Blender Vehicle Wrapper
- Added a 'steer_force' actuator to control the Hummer robot
- Added an 'armature_actuator' to control the bone structure in the LWR and PR2 robot arms
User interface
- Add a help display with the keyboard shortcuts available during simulation. Activated by pressing the 'H' key
MORSE 0.3 - "Itizpossible" release
General changes
- Added preliminary support for Blender 2.57 (with Python 3.2)
- Removed support for Blender 2.49
Architectural changes
- MORSE now support *services* to configure components
and the general behaviour of the simulation at runtime. Services
can be either synchronous or asynchronous.
- Addition of a variable to keep track of the time elapsed in seconds
since the simulation started.
- Initial support for the ROS ( middleware.
- ROS: Odometry, joint state and laser scanner sensors are exported using standard
- Sockets: services (RPC) are available
- YARP: services (RPC) are available
New sensors/actuators
- clever waypoint controller that avoids obstacles
Simulation supervision
- Add a shortcut to switch between camera during the simulation (F9)
- Add a shortcut to replace all objects at their initial position without
relaunching the simulation (F11)
- Add support for the Wiimote to control the human in HRI simulations
(external tool using socket-based requests)
- Requests: ensure some working control of the simulation
based on the socket interface (only restart for now)
MORSE 0.2 - The HRI release
General changes
- Switch to Blender 2.5: MORSE now officialy supports Blender 2.5x (x>=4) and
the support for Blender 2.49 has been dropped.
- This means that MORSE is now fully Python 3 compatible. New code must be from
now valid Python 3 code.
- MORSE homepage is now
- Documentation has been converted to reStructuredText. HTML version automatically updated
every hour to
- A MORSE bugtracker is now available:
Architectural changes
- Components have "hooks" to export their data. Middleware lives in parallel
threads and "visit" the components. In this case, middlewares still lives
in the Python VM. Advantage: better decoupling ; middleware can dynamically
choose what they want to watch.
- Add 'serialize' methods to the data of each component. This formats the
data according to the needs of each middleware/architecture.
Support for human-robot interaction
- MORSE now offers a human model. It can be controlled in a "first person shooter"-like
mode, enabling immersive simulation of human-robot interaction:
- mouse-based interactive displacement and grasping of objects (using IK to ensure
consistent, fully body motion)
- 40-DOF human posture (joint state) is exported by a new sensor called 'human_posture'
New sensors/actuators
- Support for the PA-10 and Kuka arms. They can be controlled either by specifying
a target that the arm tries to reach (using Blender ITASC IK solver) or by
sending a set of joint angles.
- new simple waypoint controller: this 'high-level' controller allows to give
only a list of waypoint to the robot. The simulator takes care of the navigation
(currently, simple straight lines, without any sort of obstacle avoidance)
- "Semantic camera" sensor: MORSE can export position, orientation and name
of specifically marked objects that are visible by a camera.
- we now have a fully simulated SICK laser sensor.
Other features
- Possibility to control the camera when the game engine runs (with keyboard,
mouse, or attach some view to some robots)
- Support for Ubuntu 10.04 (hi Lorenz!)
- Added LAAS Jido robot model with Kuka arm
- fixed several issues with camera calibration in Blender
- Added several posters for Genom middleware
- Fixed the accelerometer sensor
- fixed several issues with transformation coordinates
MORSE v 0.1 - The outdoor robotics release - 28/07/2010
First version