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Using SDF instead of URDF with ROS Robot State Publisher

asked 2020-07-13 07:31:12 -0600

teshansj gravatar image

With URDF models, you can use robot_state_publisher to have the joints published in tf. Since this needs the <robot> tag, it does not work with SDF models. If you try to roslaunch for a SDF it would say

Could not find the 'robot' element in the xml file

Everything else works fine in gazebo but the state publisher dies

Is there any way I can use robot state publisher with SDF? Maybe include URDF into the SDF? Or specify the <robot> tag in it somehow?


I have found many other questions related to this question but none had a positive answer and most of them are more than 5 years old. However,

  • This answer suggests that you can do anything with SDF that is possible in URDF.
  • This question has an answer suggesting an alternative by having both URDF and SDF but it's an ugly solution
  • There's this old unanswered question as well

I want to create a 6 wheeled robot model with two wheels having shock absorbers (prismatic joints with damping and spring actions). To my understanding, this cannot be done using URDF

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answered 2020-07-15 11:03:32 -0600

teshansj gravatar image

My problem was URDF not being able to do some stuff SDF can. But I wasn't aware of the <gazebo> tags at the time. Using them, I was able to do what I wanted and no need of SDF has come up after that.

I got an answer in answers.gazebo. Linked for future reference for anyone in need

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Asked: 2020-07-13 07:31:12 -0600

Seen: 168 times

Last updated: Jul 15 '20