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How to use Gazebo mimic joints plugin?

asked 2020-02-09 18:22:54 -0500

facureyes gravatar image

[TL;DR] I dont know how to implement and use mimic_joint_plugin in my project. I would appreciate some help or an example so I can look at it.

Im developing a quadruped robot, with the particularity that it only has two motors per leg. It has a parallel linkage in the elbow, so the 3rd link is always orthogonal to the ground.

So I made my urdf file using mimic joints, and the legs work as I want to. The problem came when I tried to do the same thing on Gazebo. Gazebo 7 (Im working with ROS KK and Ubuntu 16.04) doesnt support mimic joints, so I need to use mimic joint plugin (because I dont want to make a differente sdf file, so my Gazebo model can integrate with everything else in ROS). I kind of follow this tutorial but I still cant make it work.

In my opinion, I havent fully understand how Im supposed to define the mimic joints with the pluging. This is what I have done on cuadrubot_control.yaml:

    type: joint_state_controller/JointStateController
    publish_rate: 50

    type: effort_controllers/JointPositionController
    joint: leg1_joint1
    pid: {p: 70.0, i: 60.0, d: 15.0}

Where I repeat legX_jointX_position_controller for all my not mimic joints.

Then on my cuadrubot_control.launch file:

<!-- Load joint controller configurations from YAML file to parameter server -->
  <rosparam file="$(find cuadrubot_control)/config/gazebo/cuadrubot_control.yaml"       

<!-- load the controllers -->
  <node name="controller_spawner" pkg="controller_manager" type="spawner" respawn="false"
    output="screen" ns="/cuadrubot" args="legX_jointX_position_controller 
                                          joint_state_controller "/>

As far as I know, this is right.

In my macro.xacro file I have done this for each mimic joint (joint3 of each leg):

<xacro:macro name="joints" params="name origin_rpy front side">
  <joint name="${name}_joint1" type="revolute">
    <parent link="base_link"/>
    <child link="${name}_link1"/>
    <limit lower="-${pi/4}" upper ="${pi/4}" effort = "10" velocity = "10"/>
    <origin xyz="${ancho_chasis/2*front} ${largo_chasis/2*side} 0" rpy="${origin_rpy}" />
    <axis xyz="0 0 1" />
  <joint name="${name}_joint2" type="revolute">
    <parent link="${name}_link1"/>
    <child link="${name}_link2"/>
    <limit lower="-${pi/2}" upper ="${pi/2}" effort = "10" velocity = "10"/>
    <origin xyz= "${largo_link1} 0 0" rpy= "${pi/2} 0 0" />
    <axis xyz="0 0 1" />
  <joint name="${name}_joint3" type="revolute">
    <parent link="${name}_link2"/>
    <child link="${name}_link3"/>
    <limit lower="-${pi/2}" upper="${pi/2}" effort="10" velocity="10"/>
    <mimic joint="${name}_joint2" multiplier="-1" offset="-${pi/2}" />
    <origin xyz="${largo_link2} 0 0" rpy="0 0 ${pi/2}" />
    <axis xyz="0 0 1" />
  <transmission name="${name}_joint1_trans">
    <joint name="${name}_joint1">
    <actuator name="${name}_joint1_motor">
      <mechanicalReduction>1</mechanicalReduction> <!-- 26 -->
  <transmission name="${name}_joint2_trans">
  <joint name="${name}_joint2">
  <actuator name="${name}_joint2_motor">
    <mechanicalReduction>1</mechanicalReduction> <!-- 26 -->
      parent_joint="${name}_joint2" mimic_joint="${name}_joint3"
      has_pid="true" multiplier="-1.0" offset="-${pi/2 ...
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answered 2020-02-13 06:11:02 -0500

nlamprian gravatar image

updated 2020-02-13 06:19:01 -0500

You haven't really mentioned what the problem is. At first sight, what you have looks good to me.

You don't have to add anything in the cuadrubot_control.yaml file, as this is for the ROS controllers. The mimic controller is a Gazebo plugin, and it's configured in your mimic_joint_plugin_gazebo macro.

Something to keep in mind when applying the mimic plugin is that you need to set the appropriate limits for the mimic joint. That is, take the parent joint limits, apply the multiplier and offset, and set the mimic joint limits with this result.


You have enabled the pids in the macro. In this case, you can add their parameters in the cuadrubot_control.yaml. For example:

    mimic_x_joint3: {p: 50.0, i: 0.1, d: 1.0, i_clamp_min: -1.0, i_clamp_max: 1.0, antiwindup: false, publish_state: false}
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Asked: 2020-02-09 18:22:54 -0500

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Last updated: Feb 13 '20