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VRX News (& Releases!)

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  • VRX News (& Releases!)

    See below for all the updates and releases regarding the 2019 VRX competition. Best of luck!

  • #2
    The note below was sent via email to all the registered VRX teams. Please let us know if we need to add your email address to the distribution list.


    VRX Teams,

    We are pleased to announce the release of Version 1.1 of the VRX Simulation software and competition documents!

    The VRX Simulation should have everything you need to start building your own autonomy solutions to the VRX tasks. This release includes improvements to the physics and visualization, customizable sensor and propulsion configuration and examples of each of the VRX tasks. Get started by following the VRX Tutorials Wiki to setup the software, start example environments and customize your configuration.

    The VRX competition documents provide the information you need to begin designing your solutions to the VRX tasks and creating your competition entry. The documents describe the competition schedule, challenge tasks, interface specifications and how VRX entries will be submitted and evaluate. These two documents (VRX Competition and Task Descriptions and VRX Technical Guide) are available on the VRX Documentation Wiki and the RoboNation VRX Forum.

    We are also announcing the VRX competition schedule which consists of the following three phases:
    • Sept. 23 (M): Phase 1: Hello World
    • Oct. 21 (M): Phase 2: Dress Rehearsal
    • Nov. 22 (F): Phase 3: VRX Challenge

    Detailed descriptions of each phase are available in the VRX Competition and Task Description document.

    As always, if you have questions, issues or contributions, please post them to the VRX Issue Tracker (technical issues) or the RoboNation VRX Forum (general discussions).


    The VRX Technical Team:

    Brian, Carlos, Marshall, Michael, Rumman and Tyler
    Last edited by brian.bingham; 10-17-2019, 02:35 PM.


    • #3
      We are pleased to announce the release of version 1.2.2 of the VRX simulation software and competition documents!

      This release includes refinements in the wind plugin, waypoint visualization and the addition of object reflections and refractions. For all the details on the changes in the new release, please read the changelog at

      The VRX competition documents have been updated accordingly and are available at

      We’ve put together a new highlight video to summarize some of these new capabilities if the VRX simulation:

      We also want to clarify two important aspects before we start the competition:

      1. If possible using VRX combined from source because reflections are not available in pre-built binary packages! Object reflections and refractions have been implemented in VRX 1.2.2. This feature requires Gazebo 9.11 or greater. The VRX Debian binary (.deb) packages are created in the ROS build farm with a Gazebo 9.0 version, therefore this capability is disabled if you are using the pre-build package installation method. Because this feature will be enabled for the competition, we encourage teams to compile VRX from source (or use the Docker installation) to make sure that your perception system takes reflection/refractions into account. All of the options for system setup are documented in the VRX wiki at

      2. In order to provide a stable platform for development in support of the VRX challenge, the VRX technical team doesn't plan to add any new features to the simulation until after the competition. New VRX versions will be released only to fix critical bugs.

      The VRX Technical Team: Brian, Carlos and Michael


      • #4
        The note below was sent via email to all the registered VRX teams. Please let us know if we need to add your email address to the distribution list.


        VRX Teams,

        Congratulations to the 14 teams that successfully submitted "Hello World" videos demonstrating their use of the VRX simulation environment. As we've reviewed the videos we've been very impressed with where you are at technically - as well as some of the creativity, cinematography and comic relief demonstrated in the productions.

        We plan to post links to all the videos in the next few days. If your team would prefer not to have your video link posted, please let us know by Thursday, 26 September. We encourage everyone to share their progress as you all have much to be proud of.

        The next VRX deadline is October 21, 23:59 PST, Phase 2 - Dress Rehearsal
        In the coming days we will be releasing a number of demonstration worlds for you to practice with. These worlds will vary aspects of the VRX tasks and the environment for you all to exercise your solutions and prepare for the dress rehearsal.

        As always, if you run into issues or have questions, please submit a VRX issue or submit to the VRX forum.

        Congratulations! Hello World is often the most difficult program to write.

        The VRX Technical Team: Brian, Carlos and Michael.


        • #5
          After only a few corrections and iterations to the submission process, we have 15 video contributions from VRX teams from all over the world. We’ve posted links to the videos on the VRX Results 2019 Wiki.

          The next VRX deadline is October 21, 23:59 PST, Phase 2 - Dress Rehearsal
          Next week we will be releasing a series of practice worlds (task configurations and environmental conditions) with detailed directions to guide you through local practice.

          We also recommend you begin planning to package your submission as a Docker container (specifics are on the wiki and in the VRX Technical Guide). Containerizing your solution is not something to be left to the last minute.

          All the best,
          VRX Technical Team


          • #6
            VRX Phase 2 Update: Reminder for 21 October

            VRX teams,

            We wanted to remind everyone that the deadline for Phase 2 of VRX, the Dress Rehearsal, is Monday, 21 Oct at 2359 PDT.

            We hope that teams have been able to make use of the Task Examples in preparation or their first software submission. We plan to test your solutions in the provided task scenarios and some new, undisclosed scenarios for each task.

            The purpose of this phase is to provide all of the teams with a chance to experiment with submitting their code for automated scoring and review. It will take a few days to run all the trials, but we will provide scoring and log files from the evaluation so that teams can improve for the final phase of VRX. None of the scores from Phase 2 will carry over to the Finals, but it is a good opportunity to make sure we all have the structures in place to complete.

            Looking forward to what everyone comes up with.


            The VRX Technical Team: Brian, Carlos, and Michael