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Dynamic obstacle modeling in stage/gazebo

asked 2012-04-24 09:36:30 -0600

delphinus gravatar image

updated 2012-04-24 11:56:42 -0600


I'm evaluating whether I can use the stage simulator out of the box or if I have to build a new one for the 2D simulator project I'm working on. I thought it would be better to ask before digging into the code/manual myself.

In addition to simulating the robot (which might be composed of multiple body parts connected by joints), the project requires the obstacles to be arbitrarily shaped and dynamic. It should be possible to model the interaction of the robot with the obstacle and after-effects using attributes like friction/restitution/collision velocity, etc. Can it be done in stage?


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answered 2012-04-24 11:26:37 -0600

Eric Perko gravatar image

Stage does not do physics-based modeling or simulation of a robot with multiple joints (e.g. by applying forces to those joints). Stage in general assumes a very simple model for the vehicle, simply integrating the linear and angular velocities with respect to the configured timestep to update the position. I don't think it can model collision after-effects at all.

You should look at the Gazebo simulator if you want a simulator that actually runs a physics engine to do the simulation (allowing you to e.g. specify a force on a joint and Gazebo will figure out, based on friction and inertial constants and such, how that force affects the robot). I'm not sure if Gazebo handles things like what happens if your robot impacts something and could cause it to slide off in a different direction, but it definitely has a better chance of supporting that than Stage.

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answered 2012-04-24 12:08:40 -0600

delphinus gravatar image

Thanks for that! Actually, I have a gravity-based physics simulation built on top of the Box2D physics engine already working. Although it wouldn't take a lot of time to convert it to a planar simulator, it doesn't have hardware support like Stage or maybe Gazebo does. So, if neither of them work, I'll have to modify my simulator code to expose an API which will be readily compatible with ROS.

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Asked: 2012-04-24 09:36:30 -0600

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Last updated: Apr 24 '12