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<link> element

The link element describes a rigid body with an inertia, visual features, and collision properties.

Here is an example of a link element:

   1  <link name="my_link">
   2    <inertial>
   3      <origin xyz="0 0 0.5" rpy="0 0 0"/>
   4      <mass value="1"/>
   5      <inertia ixx="100"  ixy="0"  ixz="0" iyy="100" iyz="0" izz="100" />
   6    </inertial>
   8    <visual>
   9      <origin xyz="0 0 0" rpy="0 0 0" />
  10      <geometry>
  11        <box size="1 1 1" />
  12      </geometry>
  13      <material name="Cyan">
  14        <color rgba="0 1.0 1.0 1.0"/>
  15      </material>
  16    </visual>
  18    <collision>
  19      <origin xyz="0 0 0" rpy="0 0 0"/>
  20      <geometry>
  21        <cylinder radius="1" length="0.5"/>
  22      </geometry>
  23    </collision>
  24  </link>




Multiple Collision Bodies

It was decided that URDFs should not support multiple groups of collision bodies, even though there are sometimes applications for this. The URDF is intended to only represent the actual robot's properties, and not collisions used for external things like controller collision checking. In a URDF, the <visual> elements should be as accurate as possible to the real robot, and the <collision> elements should still be a close approximation, albeit with far fewer triangles in the meshes.

If you do need coarser-grain, over sized collision geometries for things like collision checking and controllers, you can move these meshes/geometries to custom XML elements. For example, if your controllers need some special rough collision checking geometry, you could add the tag <collision_checking> after the <collision> element:

  <link name="torso">
      <origin rpy="0 0 0" xyz="0 0 0"/>
        <mesh filename="package://robot_description/meshes/base_link.DAE"/>
      <origin rpy="0 0 0" xyz="-0.065 0 0.0"/>
        <mesh filename="package://robot_description/meshes/base_link_simple.DAE"/>
      <origin rpy="0 0 0" xyz="-0.065 0 0.0"/>
        <cylinder length="0.7" radius="0.27"/>

A URDF will ignore these custom elements like "collision_checking", and your particular program can parse the XML itself to get this information.

2024-07-13 14:39