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gazebo without ros + urdf file


1) I would like to know if it is possible to control a robot (applying force on joints with a c++ algorithm) in gazebo without ros to make a lot a simulations. In order to try evolutionary or reinforcement learning algorithms (could requires 500 000 simulations for instance). Usually, I use only a low level physic engine like ODE in C++ to skip any unnecessary computations.

2) I have access to an URDF model. Is it possible to import it in gazebo without ROS ?

It is not clear to me how to apply force/torque on a robot. I saw that I can use Player or ROS in tutorials. However I also saw that there is an external API on physics engines.

What would be the fastest/lightweight method?

Thank you.