ICAR 2023 Abu Dhabi

  ICAR2023: plenary talks, workshops, and oral presentations from all areas of robotics,                          focusing on emerging paradigms and application areas

  Tutorial: MARUS – Marine Robotics Unity Simulator Tutorial at ICAR 2023 

  Location: Khalifa University Main Campus, Abu Dhabi, UAE 

  Date: 5th December 2023, 2-6 pm


ICAR 2023 is the International Conference on Advanced Robotics, one of the most established robotics conferences in the world.

The proposed tutorial will engage academic researchers, industrial experts, students as well as roboticists in general to join a hands-on tutorial for learning about and experimenting with the Marine Robotics Unity Simulator (MARUS) [1]. The high-fidelity simulator MARUS offers advanced capabilities of generating realistic maritime environments allowing for closer-to-reality Validation & Verification (V&V) of applications developed for maritime vehicles. The simulator offers synthetic dataset generation with perfect annotations for various sensors (cameras, LIDAR, sonar, radar) and allows for interaction with the environment for closed loop simulation.  

This simulator is highly applicable for the researchers in the field of marine robotics in industry and academia and it has been used in a myriad of applications such as diver-robot interaction, unmanned ships, maritime security and so on [2,3]. MARUS simulator is built in Unity Engine as it provides tools for generating realistic environments and easy to use interface for quick setup which makes it a perfect tool for development of a simulator.

Installation guide for the MARUS can be found on MARUS GitHub wiki

The tutorial is divided into three parts: 

  • Part 1 - Welcome and introduction lectures 

  • Part 2 – Interactive tutorial 

  • Part 3 – Use-case scenario related to robotic-aided diving

In particular, the first part starts with a short presentation of the LABUST laboratory, its projects, and the motivation for developing the simulator. The first part concludes with a presentation showing briefly all the development tools and all the simulator developed features es including many different types of sensors, thrusters, tools for data annotation, connection with ROS, simple controls etc. In the second part, participants will create a vehicle in a pre-built marine environment and equip it with different sensors such as cameras, LiDAR, IMU, GNSS, etc. In addition, the connection with ROS can be shown, with the sensor data available in ROS topics. The second part will involve the use of annotation tools that can be useful for solving situational awareness tasks as well as setup and usage of sonar. In the final part, a use-case related to robotic-aided diving will be presented and participants will have the opportunity to compare underwater navigation with and without robotic aiding. Finally, conclusions will be drawn and participants will give their feedback in an online survey.

Tentative schedule

14:00 - 14:15 

Introduction and motivation for simulator development

Assist. Prof. Fausto Ferreira 

14:15 - 14:45 

MARUS simulator presentation: Unity Game Engine, sensors and tools developed, examples of simulator use – Q&A 

Ivan Lončar 

14:45 - 15:00 

First Break 


15:00 - 15:30 

Assembly of simple robot in MARUS Simulator, including different sensors and thruster setups 

Matko Batoš 

15:30 - 16:00 

Detection and annotation demonstration. Generating synthetic datasets, setup and usage of annotation tools for camera and laser sensors  - Q&A

Natko Kraševac 

16:00 - 16:30 

Setup and usage of sonar 

 Igor Kvasić

16:30 - 17:00 

Second Break 


17:00 - 17:15 

Introduction to robot-diver interaction scenarios 

Assist. Prof. Đula Nađ 

17:15 - 17:45

Robot-aided diving use case – Q&A

Igor Kvasić

17:45 - 18:00 

Wrap up, conclusions, and closing of the tutorial 

Assist. Prof. Fausto Ferreira 

[1] I. Lončar et al., "MARUS - A Marine Robotics Simulator," OCEANS 2022, Hampton Roads, 2022, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.1109/OCEANS47191.2022.9976969.
[2] F. Ferreira et al., "LIDAR-based USV close approach to vessels for manipulation purposes," OCEANS 2022, Hampton Roads, 2022, pp. 1-6, doi: 10.1109/OCEANS47191.2022.9977038.
[3] I. Kvasić et al., "Aided Diver Navigation Using Autonomous Vehicles in Simulated Underwater Environment", IFAC-PapersOnLine, 2022,


• Assistant Professor Fausto Ferreira, short bio
• Assistant Professor Đula Nađ, short bio
• Ivan Lončar, short bio
• Natko Kraševac, short bio
• Igor Kvasić, short bio
• Matko Batoš

For any questions please contact Assist. Prof. Fausto Ferreira at fausto.ferreira @ fer.hr.