The fusion of different technologies is the base of the fourth industrial revolution. Companies are encouraged to integrate new tools in their production processes in order to improve working conditions and increase productivity and production quality. The integration between information, communication technologies and industrial automation can create highly flexible production models for products and services that can be customized through real-time interactions between consumer, production and machinery throughout the production process. The future of production, therefore, depends on increasingly intelligent machinery through the use of digital systems. The key elements for future integrated devices are intelligent systems and machines, based on human–machine interaction and information sharing. To do so, the implementation of shared languages that allow different systems to dialogue in a simple way is necessary. In this perspective, the use of advanced prototyping tools like Open-Source programming systems, the development of more detailed multibody models through the use of CAD software and the use of self-learning techniques will allow for developing a new class of machines capable of revolutionizing our companies. The purpose of this paper is to present a waypoint navigation activity of a custom Wheeled Mobile Robot (WMR) in an available simulated 3D indoor environment by using the Gazebo simulator. Gazebo was developed in 2002 at the University of Southern California. The idea was to create a high-fidelity simulator that gave the possibility to simulate robots in outdoor environments under various conditions. In particular, we wanted to test the high-performance physics Open Dynamics Engine (ODE) and the sensors feature present in Gazebo for prototype development activities. This choice was made for the possibility of emulating not only the system under analysis, but also the world in which the robot will operate. Furthermore, the integration tools available with Solidworks and Matlab-Simulink, well known commercial platforms of modelling and robotics control respectively, are also explored.
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