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This post is awaiting moderation as I answer but the solution I found was tho affix my robot to the world using a joint (fixed joints dont exist, so we put revolute limits at 0 to simulate fixed) in the SDF as follows

    <joint name='base_to_world' type='revolute'>
  <pose>0 0 0 0 0 0</pose>
  <parent>world</parent>
  <child>base_link</child>
  <axis>
    <xyz>0 0 1</xyz>
    <limit>
      <lower>0</lower>
      <upper>0</upper>
    </limit>        
  </axis>
</joint>

And now I can treat my robot as non-static (dynamic) to get physics on it. I'm having trouble getting the joints to tthe correct positions now, but thats a separate issue ;)