Getting started: basic MORSE usage

Starting MORSE

Use the morse executable program, with the corresponding option, to start a simulation.

To verify that your installation and configuring of MORSE is correct, execute:

$ morse check

To start the simulation right away, do:

$ morse run <filename>

Where filename can be a Blender file or a Python script that uses the Builder API to describe a simulation scenario.

To load the simulation scenario in the Blender interface:

$ morse edit <filename>

This will give you the chance to modify the scene before pressing p to start the simulation.

Additionally, the following options can be given to the MORSE executable:

  • -h / –help: print an explanation of the available options and exit
  • -b BASE / –base BASE: in Edit mode, specify a Blender scene used as base to apply the Python script
  • –name NAME: when running in multi-node mode, sets the name of this node (defaults to current hostname)
  • -c / –color: uses colors for MORSE output.
  • –reverse-color: uses darker colors for MORSE output.
  • -g GEOM / –geometry GEOM: sets the simulator window geometry. Expected format: WxH or WxH+dx,dy to set an initial x,y delta (from lower left corner).
  • -v / –version: returns the current MORSE version

MORSE controls

A simulation in MORSE is executed using the Game Engine mode of Blender. When in this mode, the button panels of Blender are disabled and the controls change. When running morse edit <filename>, it is recommended to switch the Blender 3D View window to full screen before starting a simulation. Press Ctrl-Up when the mouse is over a window to toggle it to full screen and back.

Simulation camera control

The default MORSE scene, as well as most of the provided scenario files, contain an object called CameraFP. It allows the user to control the view of the scene during the simulation, using the mouse and keyboard, in the same way as First Person Shooter game. The camera can be moved around using:

  • w/z, s to move forward and backward
  • a/q, d to move left and right
  • r, f to move up and down

The direction the camera points to is controlled with the mouse. Hold down the Ctrl key while moving the mouse.

It is possible to adjust the speed of the camera movement, by selecting the CameraFP object in the scene, and adjusting the game properties of the camera object: Sensitivity for the mouse, and Speed for the keyboard.

Standard keyboard functions

The following are key bindings already defined in any simulation scene

  • p key: start the simulation (initiate the Game Engine)
  • h key: show an on screen display with this list of keyboard functions
  • v key: toggle the display of a “picture-in-picture” screen that can display the image viewed from a specified camera. The camera to display is determined using the select_display_camera option of the Builder API Environment class
  • Esc key: stop and exit the simulation (cleaning up the connections)
  • F7 key: move the camera CameraFP near to the robot
  • F8 key: reset the position and orientation of the CameraFP to its initial state
  • F9 key: cycle through the camera views of all Blender camera objects in the scene. This includes the cameras mounted on robots, as well as the default CameraFP
  • F11 key: reset all objects to their original position at the start of the simulation


There is a bug in the code, which will make any forces acting on an object be still active when the position is reset. This can cause an object to start rotating or moving without an apparent reason.

  • F12 key: emergency exit from the simulation, without clean up. Useful when the Esc key does not make the simulation finish (generally happens when the simulation could not properly initialise)


If this doesn’t work either, switch to the command terminal where MORSE was started and type: Ctrl-\. This will kill Blender.