Robotics Software Simulation Research Survey

We are a group of software engineering researchers at Carnegie Mellon University trying to better understand why and how robotics developers use simulation when developing and testing their systems. If you have ever used these tools, we would like to hear from you.

Simulation holds the potential to provide an automated, cost-effective, and scalable alternative to the manual and expensive process of field testing. Numerous companies in the autonomy sector, such as Uber, NVIDIA, and Waymo, have begun to use simulation on a large scale to aid the testing and development of their products.

Motivated by this potential, we want to learn why, when, and how developers use to develop and test their robotics software, and the reasons that developers opt not to use simulation. We hope that the results of our study can be used to provide guidance to developers and researchers on building the next generation of simulation platforms that better serve the needs of developers.

We are asking people who have worked with robotics software or code to participate in a survey, conducted via an online questionnaire. We estimate that this survey will take less than 20 minutes. Participation in this study is limited to individuals age 18 and older. There will be no cost to you if you participate in this study. If you have any questions about this study, you should feel free to ask them by contacting us at .

If you are interested in participating in our study, please follow this link:

If you have questions pertaining to your rights as a research participant; or to report concerns to this study, you should contact the Office of Research integrity and Compliance at Carnegie Mellon University. Email: . Phone: 412-268-1901 or 412-268-5460. Your participation in this research is voluntary. You may discontinue participation at any time during the research activity.


Chris Timperley, Deby Katz, and Afsoon Afzal
Institute for Software Research
School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University