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Questions about VRX 2019 Rules

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  • Questions about VRX 2019 Rules


    I am working on VRX 2019 competition.
    And I have following questions about the rules.
    1. Could we change the position and numbers of the thrusters ? Also, could we add degrees of freedom for them (ex. add azimuth joints) ?
    2. Could we change the position and numbers of the sensors ?
    I already read the rule book.
    But especially for second question, the position of 3d lidar is realy hard for sensing I think.
    That is why, I may ask these questions.

    Best Regards.
    And Thank you forward.


  • #2

    Thank you for bringing up these questions. We are glad to see that you are looking through the guidance documents!

    We are actively working on the two areas of customization that you suggest - sensors and propulsion. We are trying to come up with a solution that allows teams some degree of customization within some bounds.

    For example, we are looking at the feasibility of specifying a common suite of sensors (GPS, IMU, cameras, lidars, etc.), but the number of sensors would be limited - for example, teams wouldn't be able to have 10 3D lidars and 20 cameras pointed in every direction. Teams would be able to specify that location and orientation of the sensors on the WAM-V. Again, the placement would be limited to physically feasible solutions.

    Similarly, we are exploring the potential to provide options for propulsion. In the simulation we have a few pre-configured options - see We are looking at the support needed to make a fixed number of configurations available to teams.

    I anticipate that we'll be able to provide limited customization for the VRX competition. This likely means that the model teams use in VRX will not be configured exactly as their physical WAM-V because we just can't support that many different solutions, but hopefully it will be very close so that the software the teams use for VRX will be essentially equivalent o the software they use for the physical competition.

    We understand that position and attitude of the sensors is important to teams, so that is were we are concentrating our efforts for now. Are there other aspects that are particularly important to your team?

    The task descriptions and technical documents ( are still preliminary, so we are very interested in any and all feedback from the community.

    Thank you,

    PS - Many teams use the VRX project beyond the competition. For those uses the configurations are very customizable and we've included a few tutorials:


    • #3

      I am sorry for late replying.

      It sounds great that you have a lot consideration for robot descriptions.
      I appreciate it.
      And I would like to precise that if there are customize options ,that we can customize from launch file, in URDF (exactly Xacro), customize them is allowed for the competition.
      Is that right ?
      For example, choose the thruster type, positions.... and so on.

      To think about these options, following properties are important we think.

      1. Number of sensors should be limited. (For example, 3D LiDAR is until 3, camera is until 4)
      2. The position and pose of sensors should be set as option.

      And now, the GPS sensor is implemented to publish just a position in the world frame.
      But, the real sensor, they detects also the direction.
      Thus, the GPS plugin should publish position and direction(pose) in world frame, we think.

      Best Regards,


      • #4

        Thank you for the reply. This is indeed a work in progress and something the team continues to discuss. I would recommend that you take a look at the wiki describing how to configure the sensor configuration...

        For thruster/propulsion configuration you may want to look at...

        We would welcome any comments or suggestions from the community. We particularly appreciate suggestions that come in the form of pull requests that we can integrate into the project! In particular, you mentioned that you might have sensor suggestions. The current sensors we are considering are listed at If you have other configurations or sensors, it would be great to describe them as possible additions.

        Thank you,


        • #5

          Thank you for the reply.

          Now, we read the wiki about configuration that you recommended .

          My team (OUXT-Polraris) is plan to create a new gps plug in in which they return the position and pose in world frame, and would like to commit them to upstream.
          Team member will comment about that in detail.

          Best Regards,


          • #6
            Hi, brian, I am now developing nmea_gps_plguin for gazebo.(
            I want to release this plugin as binary and enables to install rosdep.
            After that, we will send pull request to the vrx repo.


            • #7
              That sounds like a great plan. Looking forward to the contribution.