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Is Gazebo able to accurately simulate parallel robots?

asked 2016-02-23 13:13:13 -0500

JTChris gravatar image

We are looking at doing some investigations into cable robots, and as part of that we'd like to find a simulation environment that will allow us to try different control approaches.

Is the physics modeling and other aspects of Gazebo sufficiently powerful and flexible to allow for parallel robots in general, and cable robots in particular? I have a sneaking suspicion that the dynamics are all rigid body, but there may be clever ways to make something work.

Also, would we be okay doing this investigation using v5 of Gazebo? Since we want to use ROS as part of this, that's as late as we can go without walking off the supported path.

Thanks in advance! Jeff

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generic answer is yes... but to answer more precisely, please elaborate on what is meant by "parallel robots"; do you mean parallel platforms similar to Stewart Platforms or something else? Also, what kind of "cable robots", are these cable / pulley driven transmissions? What types of loads and degree of accuracy is desired?

hsu gravatar imagehsu ( 2016-02-23 16:08:58 -0500 )edit

Stewart Platforms would be one variation that we'd be interested in seeing simulated properly, but our ultimate goal is a true 6DOF cable-driven robot with a "high" degree of accuracy of the static and dynamic loads.

JTChris gravatar imageJTChris ( 2016-02-25 08:55:09 -0500 )edit

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answered 2016-02-23 16:01:31 -0500

updated 2016-02-23 16:08:03 -0500

Welcome to gazebo answers! Gazebo's physics modeling is rather flexible in that it supports several physics engines (ODE, Bullet, Simbody, and Dart I believe). I don't work on the physics, but I'm fairly certain some tricky hackery is required for cable robots to work. There are a few examples of things like a firehose, or treadmill.

This document explains all the ROS connectivity stuff

Gazebo can easily do several, or several hundred robots, depending on how complex they are. There's a whole "Swarm" project that you can google for.

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Asked: 2016-02-23 13:13:13 -0500

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Last updated: Feb 23 '16