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Differences between ROS and Player.

Hi guys, I'm just starting to learn robotics and I'm very confused about the conceptual differences between ROS and Player and their uses with simulators like USARSim, Stage and Gazebo. ROS has lots of ready packages that allows controlling a robot. Player runs in a robot and is an interface to sensors and actuators. In this way, they look similar. Why does ROS has a Player package? I mean, can i use ROS directly with USARSim, Stage and Gazebo, without Player? Or can i user Player directly with USARSim, Stage and Gazebo, without ROS? I'd really appreciate if someone could explain that. Thanks in advance, Ricardo