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Referencing models from other package's launch files

asked 2016-01-20 04:50:25 -0500

Illuminatur gravatar image

updated 2016-01-29 01:36:23 -0500

Hi guys,

is it possible to distribute world models (incl. dae-files) and vehicle models in different packages? I've got the following package structure using Gazebo 2.2.3:

catkin_ws/src/model_package contains the *.world files including references to the respective *.dae files catkin_ws/src/robot_package contains the robot description as well as the respective controller,ros plugins and launch files

When i try to reference the world file of the model_package in the launch file of the robot in the robot_package via

<arg name="world_name" default="$(find model_package)/worlds/Road.world"/>

i obtain the error

Error [SystemPaths.cc:367] File or path does not exist[""]

Error [MeshShape.cc:64] No mesh specified

I assume, that the linked mesh cannot be loaded. The mesh itself is referenced like


The world can be loaded from any launch file inside the model package. I just checked the GAZEBO_RESOURCE_PATH and GAZEBO_MODEL_PATH. The variables are set correctly to the directory, where both the world file and the dae-file are placed. Any suggestions?

Best regards,

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Try using: <mesh filename="package://&lt;pkg_name&gt;/foo/mesh.dae"/> But make sure that it is finding the world file you are giving as parameter first.

Javi V gravatar imageJavi V ( 2016-01-20 09:14:07 -0500 )edit

Hi, i tried this, but i obtain the following error: XML Attribute[filename] in element[mesh] not defined in SDF, ignoring. Any other ideas?

Illuminatur gravatar imageIlluminatur ( 2016-01-21 10:02:57 -0500 )edit

2 Answers

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answered 2016-01-29 01:35:08 -0500

this post is marked as community wiki

This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >75 is welcome to improve it.


thanks for your response. I know these Gazebo paths and i've checked that these variables are exported (via a created setup.bash file) correctly.

With respect to my basic problem, i have tried several tests and recognized a similar problem with loading plugins. I strongly assume, that this is related to the same underlying problem. I've written a plugin, which i try to load from an external launch file, which is not originated from the same catkin-package. This seems to be loaded in a complete new linux environment. I'll explain:

The plugin tries to read files in the Load() function by resolving the GAZEBO RESOURCE PATH:

  // Load GAZEBO_RESOURCE_PATH from environment variable
  const char* gazeboResourcePaths = getenv("GAZEBO_RESOURCE_PATH");
    gzerr << "(MyPlugin) GAZEBO_RESOURCE_PATH is empty. Perhaps you forgot to source the necessary bash scripts. \n";
  std::string gazeboResourcePathString(gazeboResourcePaths);
  gzmsg << "(MyPlugin) Load variable GAZEBO_RESOURCE_PATH from environment successfully: " << gazeboResourcePathString << "\n";

During runtime, when invoking this plugin with an in-place (same catkin-package) launch file, the gazebo resource path is resolved to the expected directories, i have set previously with my setup.bash-script. But, when i am trying to integrate the plugin in an external launch-file i solely obtain the following console output:

Msg (MyPlugin) Load variable GAZEBO_RESOURCE_PATH from environment successfully: /usr/share/gazebo-2.2:/usr/share/gazebo_models

which is the basic path, but my additionally exported resource pathes are missing.

Is there any idea, what's the problem?

Best regards!

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If `GAZEBO_RESOURCE_PATH` is empty, then you haven't sourced the `setup.sh` file that sets the environment variable. Can you make sure you source the correct bash scripts?

nkoenig gravatar imagenkoenig ( 2016-02-02 10:59:28 -0500 )edit

answered 2016-01-21 10:54:26 -0500

nkoenig gravatar image

Here is a tutorial that describes Gazebo's model format, and how to have one model depend on another model:


Here is a tutorial about making a model:


Here is the SDF specification:


Some other bits of info

  • The package keyword is only used within ROS, and has no valid meaning in Gazebo.
  • A URI that uses the file:// prefix must be either a full path, or reference a file that is in GAZEBO_RESOURCE_PATH
  • You can use a model:// URI prefix, which will find files/models contained in GAZEBO_MODEL_PATH
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Asked: 2016-01-20 04:50:25 -0500

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Last updated: Jan 29 '16