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When simulating your arm in Gazebo, the wrist joint connecting the lower arm to the hand is acting as a constraint on the movement, only allowing it to rotate in one axis (Y axis). It sounds like you would like a "ball joint" behavior, which is a constraint on all translation DOF, but all the rotation DOF can rotate freely.

URDF doesn't seem to support ball joints. You could try to fake it by adding more joints and pseudo-links as mentioned here.