Page 1 of 1

When building URDF models, which visualizer do you use?

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:43 pm
by keithmgould
Curious what the community uses when building out a model.

Rviz? URDF-viewer? Would love to hear what you use, and why. I'm not really sure what the options are, so even a mention of what you don't use (and why not) would be helpful.

Do any of the visualizers allow you to see the points in your links where you designate the inertial origin? That seems like an easy place to make a mistake (so seeing it would help).

Related: do people tend to build their robots in some software package and then export into URDF? Or do they hand code their URDF?

Thank you!

Re: When building URDF models, which visualizer do you use?

Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:17 am
by hyyou
I have just known URDF from your post.
After some search, I found a Blender's addon https://github.com/dfki-ric/phobos. :mrgreen:
From skimming, it looks good and its development is still active. ( but I have never used it yet )

Re: When building URDF models, which visualizer do you use?

Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:27 am
by Erwin Coumans
Well, we use PyBullet for that, is can visualize URDF, SDF and MJCF etc. Also, it has utilities to show inertial boxes and in wireframe mode it can show joint axis etc.

You can see a few screenshots in the PyBullet Quickstart Guide.

Re: When building URDF models, which visualizer do you use?

Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:50 pm
by keithmgould
it has utilities to show inertial boxes and in wireframe mode it can show joint axis etc
That is fantastic.


1. I've looked through the quickstart a few times, and did not find instructions for how to do this. Did I miss it, or is that information somewhere else? Is there an example with instructions somewhere?

2. I've found (by trial and error) that 'w' starts wireframe, and then hitting 'j' seems to show axis. Is there a way to see all possible options? Like a command that brings up a help menu?

Inertial boxes, local axis, really anything to help me see how the engine is interpreting the URDF would be helpful.

Thank you.