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Thread: Simulating the ArbotiX controller in Gazebo?

  1. #1
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    Simulating the ArbotiX controller in Gazebo?

    Hey Fergs,

    I've been getting up to speed on Gazebo so I can play with Pi Robot in simulation. I've read through a number of the PR2 simulation wiki pages and can run the PR2 simulator on my machine. What I vaguely think I understand is that I need a kind of "real time controller plugin" that would simulate the ArbotiX controller. Is that correct? My goal is to be able to run the same code on the real robot or the simulated version so I can play with things like arm kinematics in simulation and then just run the same code on the robot.

    What do you think?

    --patrick
    The Pi Robot Project
    http://www.pirobot.org

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    Re: Simulating the ArbotiX controller in Gazebo?

    I believe that is correct -- you'd need the plugin. I've not really used Gazebo (as I'm not a huge fan of simulation), but I believe the UA guys have a Gazebo model for their Erratic+AX-12 arm robot, which in theory should provide a set of code to work from. A number of people have used their erratic model as the base for other diff drive robot simulations.

    If you have more specific questions on replicating a portion of the interface I can certainly help -- and if you do create the interface I'd be more than happy to integrate it into our stack (as long as it shares the same BSD licensing).

    -Fergs

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    Re: Simulating the ArbotiX controller in Gazebo?

    Thanks Fergs. I'll take a look at the UA code to get started and will certainly share back anything I do under BSD licensing. Simulation is also not highest on my priority list but I thought it might come in handy when I'm away from the robot. BTW, I just saw the latest images of Maxwell on your blog--really nice work! Given how compactly it breaks down, can you send me a replica FedEx?

    --patrick
    The Pi Robot Project
    http://www.pirobot.org

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    Re: Simulating the ArbotiX controller in Gazebo?

    I can second what Fergs said. We're currently ROSifying our Hector UGV and started from the Erratic. We had to do some custom stuff due to the Ackermann steering we use, but the basic vehicle is already driving around in Gazebo.

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    Re: Simulating the ArbotiX controller in Gazebo?

    Cool. Sounds like a good place to start then!

    --patrick
    The Pi Robot Project
    http://www.pirobot.org

  6. Re: Simulating the ArbotiX controller in Gazebo?

    Hey Pi Robot,
    Did you get the Pi Robot simulation working in Gazebo?
    If so, I'd like to have a copy of your solution to avoid reinventing the wheel.

    Thanks.

    SamQ

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    Re: Simulating the ArbotiX controller in Gazebo?

    Hi SamQ,

    Alas, no, I did not pursue that route. So I'm just doing everything with the real robot or, at best, RViz and the URDF file, but I'm not using Gazebo right now.

    --patrick
    The Pi Robot Project
    http://www.pirobot.org

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    Re: Simulating the ArbotiX controller in Gazebo?

    Just a heads up, while there is no gazebo plug in, there is a "fake-driver.py" in arbotix_python which has silently found its way in. This simulates all of the servos and a base_controller (if configured), which can allow you to test everything except perception within RViz.

    I believe you have to pull trunk if you want this feature, and I really need to get another tagged release out shortly.

    -Fergs

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