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The issue is most likely related to the path that you were using. What directory were you in when the commands used to work? If you happened to be in the base path of the urdf_tutorial package, then it makes sense that a command like

roslaunch urdf_tutorial display.launch model:=urdf/04-materials.urdf

would work correctly. If you inspect the display.launch file on Indigo, you'll see that the model arg gets passed directly to the robot_description parameter. The relative path in the above command will only work if your current working directory is correct. Note that this is discussed in the One Shape section of the tutorial originally linked.

If you instead used a command like

roslaunch urdf_tutorial display.launch model:='$(find urdf_tutorial)/urdf/04-materials.urdf'

the error would disappear.

The issue is most likely related to the path that you were using. What directory were you in when the commands used to work? If you happened to be in the base path of the urdf_tutorial package, then it makes sense that a command like

roslaunch urdf_tutorial display.launch model:=urdf/04-materials.urdf

would work correctly. If you inspect the display.launch file on Indigo, you'll see that the model arg gets passed directly to the robot_description parameter. The relative path in the above command will only work if your current working directory is correct. Note that this is discussed in the One Shape section of the tutorial originally linked.

If you instead used a command like

roslaunch urdf_tutorial display.launch model:='$(find urdf_tutorial)/urdf/04-materials.urdf'

the error would disappear.

EDIT

Looking at the changes in the urdf_tutorials package, I noticed that in commit f2db517470 the contents of the display.launch file changed quite a bit. If you were using copy of the urdf_tutorials package from GitHub and you were on the master branch, this could explain why you are seeing references to xacro. The newest version of display.launch uses xacro even when you are just using a regular URDF.

The issue is most likely related to the path that you were using. What directory were you in when the commands used to work? If you happened to be in the base path of the urdf_tutorial package, then it makes sense that a command like

roslaunch urdf_tutorial display.launch model:=urdf/04-materials.urdf

would work correctly. If you inspect the display.launch file on Indigo, you'll see that the model arg gets passed directly to the robot_description parameter. The relative path in the above command will only work if your current working directory is correct. Note that this is discussed in the One Shape section of the tutorial originally linked.

If you instead used a command like

roslaunch urdf_tutorial display.launch model:='$(find urdf_tutorial)/urdf/04-materials.urdf'

the error would disappear.

EDIT

Looking at the changes in the urdf_tutorials package, I noticed that in commit f2db517470 the contents of the display.launch file changed quite a bit. If you were using a copy of the urdf_tutorials package from GitHub and you were on the master branch, this could explain why you are seeing references to xacro. The newest version of display.launch uses xacro even when you are just using a regular URDF.