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It looks like the joint controller doesn't have good support for multi-axis joints (such as universal). I ticketed an issue for this.

I would suggest you change to a revolute joint. If you need the 2 DOF, you could add 2 revolute joints with a dummy link in between them.

Also, when things start bouncing uncontrollably like this, it's a good idea to run Gazebo in verbose mode to see if any error messages are being printed.

I'd also inspect the model by visualizing the inertias and masses for each link, to make sure there are no tiny or huge links in the model making the physics engine crazy. Finally, you can try playing with different PID gains to see if things become more stable.