Submitted to Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory with Manuscript # SIMPAT-D-21-1068.
The number of available tools for dynamic simulation of robots has been growing rapidly in recent years. However, to the best of our knowledge, there are very few reported quantitative comparisons of the most widely-used robot simulation tools. This article attempts to partly fill this gap by providing quantitative and objective comparisons of four widely-used simulation packages for mobile robots. The comparisons reported here were conducted by obtaining data from a real Husky A200 mobile robot driving on mixed terrains as ground truth and by simulating a 3D mobile robot model in a developed identical simulation world of these terrains for each simulator. We then compared the simulation outputs with real, measured results by weighted metrics. Based on our experiments and selected metrics, we conclude that CoppeliaSim is currently the best performing simulator, although Gazebo is not far behind and is a good alternative.