Raúl Arrabales Moreno

Cognitive Neuroscience – Artificial Intelligence – Machine Consciousness

ExplorerSimSonar Application

ExplorerSimSonar Application

ExplorerSimSonar Application is a set of MSRS services used to recreate a virtual maze-like environment and experiment with a simulated Pioneer 3 DX robot equipped with a frontal Sonar array.

The archive available for download include serveral Robotics Studio services that are used to simulate a robot sonar array, recreate a maze virtual world, and autonomously control a robot within this environment using the sonar readings.

Most of the code is based on Trevor Taylor’s QUT Applications for Robotics Studio (seehttp://sky.fit.qut.edu.au/~taylort2/MSRS/).


ARCOS based robots (like the Pioneer 3 DX) can integrate up to four Sonar rings, each with eight transducers. These sensors provide object detection and distance information. The Robotics Studio platform comes with a sample service called Explorer that uses the Laser Range Finder as sensing device. However, as I don’t have such a device, I wanted to use the P3DX frontal sonar ring instead.

The original ExplorerSim service written by Trevor Taylor builds a map using the laser scans that the explorer is retrieving as the robot wanders around. In this version (ExplorerSimSonar) I’ve added support for a simulated sonar. Therefore, the map is created based on frontal sonar scans.

Services included in this Application:

SimulatedSonar -> Implements a simulated Sonar.
CraniumDashBoard -> Control panel window (formelly known as Control Panel service).
MazeSimulatorRA -> a version of Maze Simulator.
ExplorerSimSonar -> Autonomous robot control.
DifferentialDriveTT -> Trevor’s DifferentialDrive.

Application Download

Installation Instructions – Usage

Download the ZIP file and unzip it into your MSRS directory. Note that this is assumed to be:  C:\Microsoft Robotics Studio (1.5)

When you unzip the file, it creates four projects in the Apps\UC3M directory under your MSRS installation:

– SimulatedSonar
– CraniumDashboard
– MazeSimulatorRA
– ExplorerSimSonar

And one project under Apps\QUT directory:

– DifferentialDriveTT
(this is an unmodified service from Trevor Taylor).
Use the following scripts provided within this application distribution:

These commands must be run from the MSRS root directory, in an MSRS DOS Command Prompt window.

1. Rebuild ExplorerSimSonar Services and all
dependencies by running


2. Run the ExplorerSimSonar application

– Please refer to the readme.txt files located
under each service directory for more details.

Last Version Information

Update 11. November 9, 2007.

Portions of code have been rewritten in this update in order to remove all vision services. The idea is to generate a clean environment for testing and experimentation of autonomous robot navigation using Sonar sensors.

I hope to release a future set of services including the vision processing stuff.


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it. (If you build any application using this software, I’d like to know it, please provide feedback). This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.


Raúl Arrabales

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