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Hi Nick,

Rosen suggested to me that after exporting your model from Blender, edit the .dae file and change the Collada specification line to:

<COLLADA version="1.5.0" xmlns="http://www.collada.org/2008/03/COLLADASchema">

The problem I then ran into is that the Collada model turns out to be single mesh so that the individual joints are not articulated as they would be in a URDF/Xacro model. Rosen then pointed me toward the OpenGrasp project that has a Blender plugin for creating the correct kinematic chain for use with ROS and OpenRAVE. However, the plugin was designed for Blender 2.48a and Python 2.5 and so you would need to use those versions to give it a try. (After 2 full days of trying to get all this to work, I've run out of steam for now...)

--patrick