Roboschool provides new OpenAI Gym environments for controlling robots in simulation. Eight of these environments serve as free alternatives to pre-existing MuJoCo implementations, re-tuned to produce more realistic motion. We also include several new, challenging environments.
After we launched Gym, one issue we heard from many users was that the MuJoCo component required a paid license (though MuJoCo recently added free student licenses for personal and class work). Roboschool removes this constraint, letting everyone conduct research regardless of their budget. Roboschool is based on the Bullet Physics Engine, an open-source, permissively licensed physics library that has been used by other simulation software such as Gazebo and V-REP.
See also https://openai.com/blog/roboschool/
The Bullet 2.86 has improved Python bindings, pybullet, for robotics, machine learning and VR, see the pybullet quickstart guide.
Furthermore, the PGS LCP constraint solver has a new option to terminate as soon as the residual (error) is below a specified tolerance (instead of terminating after a fixed number of iterations). There is preliminary support to load some MuJoCo MJCF xml files (see data/mjcf), and haptic experiments with a VR glove. Get the latest release from github here.
We have been making a lot of progress in higher quality physics simulation for robotics, games and visual effects. To make our physics simulation easier to use, especially for roboticist and machine learning experts, we created Python bindings, see examples/pybullet. In addition, we added Virtual Reality support for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift using the openvr sdk. See attached youtube movie. Updated documentation will be added soon, as well as possible show-stopper bug-fixes, so the actual release tag may bump up to 2.85.x. Download the release from github here.
The new Bullet Physics SDK 2.83 is available from github. The biggest change is the new example browser using OpenGL 3+. For more changes and features, see the docs/BulletQuickstart.pdf as part of the release. For more information and download link, see http://www.bulletphysics.org/Bullet/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=10527
Also, our proposal for a course on Bullet got accepted for the upcoming SIGGRAPH 2015 conference in Los Angeles.
Tuesday, 11 August 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm, Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 404AB
UPDATE: here are the slide decks:
Introduction to rigid body pipeline, collision detection
Advances in constraint solving, Featherstone Articulated Body Algorithm
Acceleration of the full collision detection and constraint solver on GPU
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 21 scientific and technical achievements represented by 58 individual award recipients will be honored at its annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation on Saturday, February 7, at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.
“To Erwin Coumans for the development of the Bullet physics library, and to Nafees Bin Zafar and Stephen Marshall for the separate development of two large-scale destruction simulation systems based on Bullet.
These pioneering systems demonstrated that large numbers of constrained rigid bodies could be used to animate visually complex, believable destruction effects with minimal simulation time.”
Thanks to all Bullet contributors and users!
Nasa is using Bullet in their new open source Tensegrity Robotics Toolkit. You can find more information and video link here: http://bulletphysics.org/Bullet/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=9978
The new book Multithreading for Visual Effects includes a chapter on the OpenCL optimizations for upcoming Bullet 3.x. Other chapters include multithreading development experiences from OpenSubDiv, Houdini, Pixar Presto and Dreamworks Fluids and LibEE. You can get it at the publisher AK Peters/CRC Press or at Amazon.
Development on upcoming Bullet 2.83 and Bullet 3.x is making good progress, hopefully an update follows soon.
Development of the open source Bullet Physics SDK continues at http://github.com/bulletphysics/bullet3 . All the open issues have been moved from the googlecode repository to github with links between old and new issues. There will be a Bullet 2.83 release using the github repository very soon, it is in alpha stage now. In 2014 we will be moving to Bullet 3.x and the unstable Bullet 3.x code is already included in Bullet 2.83.
Other news is that recently I joined Google to work on the robotics project!
The new Bullet 2.82 SDK is available for download. It allows for higher quality physics simulation, suitable for robotics, using the Featherstone articulated body algorithm. The release also introduces a new Mixed Linear Complementarity Problem (MLCP) solver interface, with various direct solver implementations. Read more here.
Our focus is now on integrating all Bullet 2.x features into the upcoming Bullet 3.x SDK. You can learn more about its progress in our SIGGRAPH course notes on GPU rigid body simulation at the Multithreading and VFX website.
Ralf Knoesel shared the good news that Riptide GP2, the latest iOS/Android game from Vector Unit, uses Bullet for collision detection and rigid body simulation. See http://www.bulletphysics.org/Bullet/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=9324 for more information
We have been working with Larry Weinberg and his crew to integrate Bullet soft body and rigid body into Poser 3D. Create rigid simulations with constraints to build complex mechanical interactions. Paint softbody constraint weights to animate. Add jiggle and bounce to any prop or character. Use the Live Simulation mode to preview dynamics in realtime, or calculate simulations to include in rendered animations. See for more information on Bullet and Poser 3D here.
Bullet 3.x will feature a 100% GPU accelerated rigid body pipeline with various parallel broad phase algorithms, convex and concave triangle mesh and several parallel solvers. Here is a teaser video for my GPU rigid body talk at GDC 2013 this Thursday March 28, 2.30PM. See some Youtube video here.
See http://schedule2013.gdconf.com/session-id/822773 for more details.
The new Bullet 2.81 Physics SDK is released. It includes an Apple contribution of SIMD and Neon optimizations for Mac OSX and iOS. Some new features include rolling friction ( so that curved shapes such as sphere, cylinders and cones will stop rolling, even on a sloped surface), a gear constraint, force and torque joint feedback, optional Coriolis forces and speculative contacts for fast moving objects. For more information and feedback see