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Building a world in Gazebo vs Blender (or other modelling software)

asked 2019-10-30 02:15:49 -0500

mihota gravatar image

Hi. I am totally new to Gazebo. My apologies if this question has been asked before.

I am building a simple world to test my robot. The world will have a few different flat areas at different height, connected by up/down ramps.

The question is: should I build this in Gazebo, or should I build it in Blender (or other modelling software) then import the mesh into Gazebo? What is the pros and cons of each approach?

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answered 2019-10-31 07:05:30 -0500

kumpakri gravatar image

Gazebo does not allow for much of the modelling, I believe. It is good for prototyping. Like if you are testing a new lidar and you just need some obstacles inside your world so you can see them in the lidar reading, you can just pop some boxes inside the world and be done with it.

You can quickly build some ugly robot just to see what setting of the joints works for you or to get an inspiration for your robot description. You can build the links and set the joints as you need and then take the code of the model and finish it up either in SDF or URDF format.

For anything more you want to make models in some modelling software and import the models inside Gazebo. The ground, trees, furniture -- all of those you make in a modelling software. Or for robot you model the parts of the robot in Blender or so and then use those models as a mesh for the robot links. Blender is the only one I have any experience with, so I cannot recommend any other. And I really like Blender.

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For the ground, I am seeing 2 options: putting a heightmap image into gazebo, or build the ground in Blender and import the mesh. Which one do you think is better?

mihota gravatar imagemihota ( 2019-10-31 22:49:31 -0500 )edit

I think it depends entirely on your goal and resources. You can get ground models made by others or use some software to make models out of real-world scanned places (which looks awesome). If you only need some generic ground that has some volume to it, or you only have the height information about the ground you want, it might be easier to use the heightmap. You can also scale and modify the heightmap pretty quickly and easily.

kumpakri gravatar imagekumpakri ( 2019-11-01 04:52:49 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2019-10-30 02:15:49 -0500

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Last updated: Oct 31 '19