How can I represent a anake robot with many identical segmens in SDF?

asked 2017-07-12 16:48:04 -0600

I'd like to model a snake robot consisting of many identical segments consisting of a hobby servo with a mounting bracket (having with one DOF). The modules can be attached either in a straight fashion or rotated 90 degrees, such that the axis of rotation are perpendicular to the previous axis.

I'm trying to understand how I can represent such a robot in SDF.

I tried making one segment consisting of two links, one with the servo, and the other attached to the servo's rotational axis. Such a segment then becomes one model:

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Then I wanted to attach models to each other with a fixed joint, but discovered that this was not possible (only links can be attached with fixed joints?).

What is a good representation of a robot like this in SDF, without having to repeat many identical links in the model file, and ideally using Gazebo's Model Editor?

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