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Trouble with JointEffortController & Gazebo

asked 2015-02-08 15:35:22 -0500

duffany1 gravatar image

updated 2015-02-09 02:58:03 -0500

I'm having trouble getting my simulated robot arm to respond to effort commands. I've pretty much done everything according to the ros_control / gazebo tutorials, but whenever I manually publish to <controller_name>/command, nothing happens.

Here's (hopefully) all of the info that is relevant. I've had this working with position control in the past, and I've changed it only slightly to try and get it to work with effort control. (Note, I've replaced the actual robot name with MYROBOT).

I'm using ROS indigo, and I built gazebo_ros_pkgs, ros_control, and ros_controllers from source (checking out the indigo-devel branch each time). I'm using gazebo2, installed from apt-get.

Selected elements from the xacro:

<robot name="MYROBOT" xmlns="...">
<link name="world" />
<joint name="fixed" type="fixed">
  <parent link="world"/>
  <child link="base_link"/>
<transmission name="elbow_trans">
  <joint name="elbow_joint">
  <actuator name="elbow_motor">
  <plugin name="gazebo_ros_control" filename=""> 


    type: joint_state_controller/JointStateController
    publish_rate: 50  

    type: effort_controllers/JointEffortController
    joint: elbow_joint
    pid: {p: 1.0, i: 0.01, d: 0.0}


<include file="$(find gazebo_ros)/launch/empty_world.launch">
    ... (A bunch of <arg>s)

<param name="robot_description"
  command="$(find xacro)/ '$(find MYROBOT_arm_description)/urdf/arm_geo.xacro'" />

<node name="urdf_spawner" pkg="gazebo_ros" type="spawn_model"
  respawn="false" output="screen" args="-urdf -model MYROBOT -param robot_description"/>

<rosparam file="$(find MYROBOT_ctrl)/config/MYROBOT_control.yaml" command="load"/>

<node name="controller_spawner" pkg="controller_manager" type="spawner" 
  respawn="false" output="screen" ns="/MROBOT" 
  args="joint_state_controller elbow_effort_controller" />

<node name="robot_state_publisher" pkg="robot_state_publisher" type="robot_state_publisher"
  respawn="false" output="screen">
  <remap from="/joint_states" to="/MYROBOT/joint_states" />

Now, if I run this launch file, I don't see any obvious errors in the console; everything looks pretty healthy (No red text, just messages like "Loaded gazebo_ros_control", "Started controllers: joint_state_controller, elbow_effort_controller, ...", etc.). I see Gazebo with the spawned arm, but it sort of just sags and eventually lays flat out on the ground. I tried to publish a command to the elbow controller (for example) using rostopic pub /MYROBOT/elbow_effort_controller/command std_msgs/Float64 2.0, but with no luck -- the model doesn't move. And if I echo /MYROBOT/joint_states, the effort array is all zeros.

Is there something here that I'm doing incorrectly? Am I not using a controller correctly? Any help would be much appreciated!

EDIT 1: what the elbow joint looks like in the xacro

  xyz="-0.314325000000001 0 0"
  rpy="-3.14159265358979 2.77555756156289E-16 1.67208086071471" />
  link="upper_arm" />
  link="lower_arm" />
  xyz="0 0 1" />
  velocity="0" />
<dynamics damping="0.7" />
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1 Answer

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answered 2015-02-09 02:17:21 -0500

Adolfo Rodriguez T gravatar image

On MYROBOT_control.yaml, your PID gains look really small. Maybe your robot is _really_ lightweight and they're fine for it. If we're talking about an arm here, they're likely just too small to overcome the robot dynamics.

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Hey Adolfo, thanks for your reply. It doesn't seem that the PID values are problematic; I tried increasing them exponentially, and also publishing huge commands, but to no avail. I updated my question with the xml for the elbow joint; does anything about it look fishy?

duffany1 gravatar image duffany1  ( 2015-02-09 02:59:34 -0500 )edit

Consider specifying non-zero effort and velocity limits for your joint. Gazebo does enforce them.

Adolfo Rodriguez T gravatar image Adolfo Rodriguez T  ( 2015-02-09 03:30:57 -0500 )edit

Ugh, that was indeed the issue! I figured 0 meant "unlimited," otherwise how could position control have been working? But I suppose those limits are on the _command_, rather than the actual values? Regardless, thanks for your help!

duffany1 gravatar image duffany1  ( 2015-02-09 10:24:02 -0500 )edit

Depending on how you were sending position commands, Gazebo has a 'kinematic position control' mode which bypasses the simulation of the joint dynamics altogether. This could explain why you could set positions before.

Adolfo Rodriguez T gravatar image Adolfo Rodriguez T  ( 2015-02-09 10:44:36 -0500 )edit

i have same problem but not work for me

zakizadeh gravatar image zakizadeh  ( 2017-11-18 00:53:21 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2015-02-08 15:35:22 -0500

Seen: 3,088 times

Last updated: Feb 09 '15