In AIAI, we used to use Webots to simulate the Sony AIBO for our experiments in “Project AIBO – Robotic Task Achieving Teams” using URBI. The University of Edinburgh School of Informatics robotics classes use Webots as a robot simulator and in labs for practicals and student projects or experiments, using a “floating licence” server which dynamically allocates licences from a pool to users authorised to use the University licence.
We wanted to check the setup would also work to support potential future distance education students taking robotics classes with us, and to use Webots on their own computer so that access to proper graphics on their local machine/graphics card was possible. These notes are the results of that check.
Access to EdLAN via VPN
Our licence is restricted to users within certain IP address ranges, essentially meaning we limit access to our Webots license to those within the University of Edinburgh (129.215.*.*), though specific restrictions can also be applied. VPN access from a system external to EdLAN is possible using any suitable VPN such as the University Cisco VPN or Informatics OpenVPN service. Note that OpenVPN must be run as administrator in recent versions of Windows, and that you should use either the “Informatics-via-Forum-Windows.ovpn” or “Informatics-all-Forum-Windows.ovpn” configuration if you use Windows.
Webots Licence Server
Our Webots licence server runs locally on http://webots-lserv.inf.ed.ac.uk:10024/ and if that link is accessible to you to show a status page, then you are properly connected to EdLAN either locally within the Informatics network or via VPN.
Obtain and install a copy of Cyberbotics Webots 6.4.4 from the archived downloads page at http://www.cyberbotics.com/archive/. version 6.4.4 is the latest version supported by our licence allocation mechanism (as at April 2014). That allows you to run a FREE demonstration version of Webots, or request a limited-period trial PRO license.
Those permitted to use the School of Informatics floating licence system can add a file named “license.srv” (not the US spelling) into the webots-install-root/resources directory. The file should contain this single line with no whitespace and no “http://” on the front…
You are then all set to begin your studies and experiments. When you log off, the floating licence “seat” you occupied is returned to the pool for others to use, so don’t leave Webots running unnecessarily.
Update: 18-Dec-2018: Webots Open Source on Github
On 18-Dec-2018 Olivier Michel at cyberbotics.com let previous Webots users know that the platform has been made open source via GitHub…
Today, after more than 20 years of proprietary licensing, Webots has become free open source software, released under the terms of the Apache 2.0 license. You can download Webots R2019a binary packages, contribute on GitHub, read the official announcement, and watch the video presentation.