Import PDF files into robot simulation and present flying from slide to slide.



SimSlides consists of plugins for two simulators: Gazebo Classic and Ignition Gazebo. There are different features for each simulator.


SimSlides Ignition

  • Navigate through keyframes using mouse, keyboard or wireless presenter
  • Keyframes can:
    • Look at a slide (even if it has moved)
    • Move camera to a specific pose
    • Go through slides stacked on the same pose
  • ... plus all Ignition features!

Gazebo classic

Generate demo

  • Import PDF files into simulation through the GUI
  • Navigate through keyframes using mouse, keyboard or wireless presenter
  • Keyframes can:
    • Look at a slide (even if it has moved)
    • Move camera to a specific pose
    • Seek to specific spot in a log file
    • Go through slides stacked on the same pose
    • Write copiable HTML text to a dialog
  • ... plus all Gazebo features!

Checking out a couple other tutorials is also recommended if you want to use each simulator's potential to customize your presentations. Maybe you want to setup keyboard triggers? Control a robot using ROS? The possibilities are endless!


SimSlides' main branch supports both Gazebo Classic and Ignition. It's ok if you don't have both simulators installed, only the plugin for the simulator present will be compiled.


The main branch supports Ignition Citadel, Edifice and Fortress.

Follow the official install instructions.

Gazebo Classic

The main branch has been tested on Gazebo version 11.

Follow the official install instructions.

Extra dependencies:

sudo apt install imagemagick

It's also recommended that you make sure ImageMagick can convert PDFs, see this.

Build SimSlides

By default, SimSlides will try to build against Ignition Citadel and Gazebo 11. For other Ignition versions, set the IGNITION_VERSION environment variable before building. For example:

export IGNITION_VERSION=fortress

SimSlides can be built with a basic cmake workflow, for example:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
sudo make install
cd ..

Be sure to add your CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH to LD_LIBRARY_PATH, for example, when following the steps above, you should do this before running:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

It's also possible to build SimSlides inside a colcon workspace.

Run SimSlides


Run simslides:


Gazebo classic

Important: Source Gazebo, this may be in a different place depending on your Gazebo installation:

source /usr/share/gazebo/

Run simslides:


This starts SimSlides in an empty world. You're ready to create your own presentation!


You can find a demo presentation inside the worlds directory. The same demo works for both simulators.

Run it as follows:

  1. Move to the simslides clone directory

     cd <path to> simslides
  2. (Only for Gazebo classic) Source Gazebo

     source /usr/share/gazebo/
  3. Load the world

     simslides_ignition worlds/demo_slide.sdf
     simslides_classic worlds/demo_slide.sdf

Your own presentation

You can generate your own presentation as follows:

Generate a new presentation

Generate demo

  1. On the top menu, choose SimSlides -> Import PDF (or press F2)

  2. Choose a PDF file from your computer

  3. Choose the folder to save the generated slide models at

  4. Choose a prefix for your model names, they will be named prefix-0, prefix-1, ...

  5. Click Generate. A model will be created for each page of your PDF. This may take a while, the screen goes black... But it works in the end. Sometimes it looks like not all pages of the PDF become models... That's an open issue.

  6. When it's done, all slides will show up on the world in a grid.

  7. A world file is also created, so you can reload that any time.

Presentation mode

Once you have the slides loaded into the world, present as follows:

  1. Press F5 or the play button on the top left to start presentation mode

  2. Press the arrow keys to go back and forth on the slides

  3. You're free to use the rest of Gazebo's interface while presenting. If you've navigated far away from the current slide, you can press F1 to return to it.

  4. At any moment, you can press F6 to return to the initial camera pose.

Existing presentations

When this project was started, all presentations were kept in different branches of the same repository. Since mid 2019, new presentations are being created in their own repositories.

Until mid 2019

  1. Move to the presentation branch, available ones are:

  2. A lot changes from one presentation to the next. Follow instructions on that branch's README to run the presentation. I've done my best to document it all, but each presentation may take some massaging to work years later.

Since mid 2019

See each repository / world:


This project started as a few bash scripts for CppCon 2015. Back then, it used to be hosted on BitBucket using Mercurial.

Over the years, the project evolved into more handy GUI plugins, and is gaining more features for each presentation.

The repository was ported to GitHub + Git in August 2019, when BitBucket dropped Mercurial support.


Presentation slides inside robot simulations 🎥🤖

Simslides Info

⭐ Stars51
🔗 Source
🕒 Last Update10 months ago
🕒 Created3 years ago
🐞 Open Issues7
➗ Star-Issue Ratio7
😎 Authorchapulina