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In Gazebo, Stage and real-world navigation initiating movement usually involves some variant of the "cmd_vel" topic, which is based on the "Twist" message format. For simple testing there are a number of nodes in different stacks (turtlebot, pr2) that provide this function using keyboard commands, usually named something like "keyboard_teleop".

I suggest that you examine the turtlesim tutorial ( for a good start. It uses "rosrun turtlesim turtle_teleop_key". Use rxgraph to inspect the topics/messages in your simulation and be prepared to remap topic names as required.