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I know I'm resurrecting an old thread, but maybe others might still be interested.

Setting fdir1 would be a solution if it worked correctly. For some reason, the direction is not treated as relative to the link, but in world coordinates, so you'd need to update it in every frame to the correct world direction. See https://bitbucket.org/osrf/gazebo/issues/2068/directional-friction-still-broken .

Also, an omni-wheel needs the most precise friction computations that are available to work properly. Recently, the friction_cone model was added, which helped a lot in my case:

physics::PhysicsEnginePtr physics = world->GetPhysicsEngine();
const std::string frictionModel = "cone_model";
physics->SetParam("friction_model", frictionModel);


Last, a bit unrelated, but nevertheless, now there's (my) PR to add proper support of tracked vehicles. Everybody's welcome to try it out. https://bitbucket.org/osrf/gazebo/pull-requests/2652/added-support-for-tracked-vehicles