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Hi Gwen,

The transmission and actuator tags are used by the pr2_mechanism_model package. Upstream to that, pr2_mechanism_model is loaded through the gazebo_ros_controller_manager plugin. I've tried to explain it a little bit in the header file copied over to drcsim.

If you want to see the pr2 gripper in action in the new gazebo, try it out in the groovy release of pr2_simulator by simulating the entire PR2. Otherwise, with a little bit of work, you might be able to get a working gripper by itself by stripping out the rest of the robot.

The different types of transmissions are implemented here.

Hope this helps. John