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Given that gazebo always performs real-time dynamics simulation, there are limits to the speed that can be achieved on commodity hardware. There are some options though:

  • Get a faster computer

  • Reduce dynamics simulation fidelity (time step, solver iterations). Might make simulation unstable though

  • Reduce scenario/robot complexity (simple geometries, switch off/don't use sensors you don't need)

If you only require a relatively abstract robot model, using Stage or the recently introduced STDR simulator instead might be another option.