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Problems in simulating a tracked vehicle and spawning the model


I am making a tread drive in which I am simulating the motion of a track as composed of:

  • 2 pieces of straight chains comprised of small links
  • 2 pieces of semicircular chain wrapped around the wheel.

I am facing the following problems:

  • The wheel does not stand on the chain, but sinks into it.
  • How do I make one chain(the straight or the arc one) slide against a rotating wheel? Currently, the system becomes unstable as soon as the model is spawned. I am using a prismatic joint, which appears wrong to me.
  • How do I move away from the fixed angle(180 degrees) of wrapped chain into a more general approach? I have a few ideas, but am not sure about their validity:
    • Make the whole chain as sdf file in the required shape(brute force)
    • Use a xacro to make the sdf file. However, I am not sure if a xacro is the right approach since I am be working on a non-ROS, non-catkin environment.

Also, I know that I can remove the computation by reducing the visual size of the straight parts of the link, but first I want to focus on making the track function properly.

Part of code can be found on pastebin here, however, for the whole set of models, visit the bitbucket repo here

I have seen the following links, but they weren't particularly helpful beyond what I had already deduced