Model plugins


Prerequisites

Overview / HelloWorld Plugin Tutorial

Note: If you're continuing from the previous tutorial, make sure you put in the proper #include lines for this tutorial that are listed below.

Code

Source: gazebo/examples/plugins/model_push

Plugins allow complete access to the physical properties of models and their underlying elements (links, joints, collision objects). The following plugin will apply a linear velocity to its parent model.

$ cd ~/gazebo_plugin_tutorial
$ gedit model_push.cc

Plugin Code:

#include <boost/bind.hpp>
#include <gazebo/gazebo.hh>
#include <gazebo/physics/physics.hh>
#include <gazebo/common/common.hh>
#include <stdio.h>

namespace gazebo
{
  class ModelPush : public ModelPlugin
  {
    public: void Load(physics::ModelPtr _parent, sdf::ElementPtr /*_sdf*/)
    {
      // Store the pointer to the model
      this->model = _parent;

      // Listen to the update event. This event is broadcast every
      // simulation iteration.
      this->updateConnection = event::Events::ConnectWorldUpdateBegin(
          boost::bind(&ModelPush::OnUpdate, this, _1));
    }

    // Called by the world update start event
    public: void OnUpdate(const common::UpdateInfo & /*_info*/)
    {
      // Apply a small linear velocity to the model.
      this->model->SetLinearVel(math::Vector3(.03, 0, 0));
    }

    // Pointer to the model
    private: physics::ModelPtr model;

    // Pointer to the update event connection
    private: event::ConnectionPtr updateConnection;
  };

  // Register this plugin with the simulator
  GZ_REGISTER_MODEL_PLUGIN(ModelPush)
}

Compiling the Plugin

Assuming the reader has gone through the Hello WorldPlugin tutorial all that needs to be done is to add the following lines to ~/gazebo_plugin_tutorial/CMakeLists.txt

add_library(model_push SHARED model_push.cc)
target_link_libraries(model_push ${GAZEBO_LIBRARIES} ${Boost_LIBRARIES})

Compiling this code will result in a shared library, ~/gazebo_plugin_tutorial/build/libmodel_push.so, that can be inserted in a Gazebo simulation.

$ cd ~/gazebo_plugin_tutorial/build
$ cmake ../
$ make

Running the Plugin

This plugin is used in the world file examples/plugins/model_push/model_push.world.

$ cd ~/gazebo_plugin_tutorial
$ gedit model_push.world
<?xml version="1.0"?> 
<sdf version="1.4">
  <world name="default">

    <!-- Ground Plane -->
    <include>
      <uri>model://ground_plane</uri>
    </include>

    <include>
      <uri>model://sun</uri>
    </include>

    <model name="box">
      <pose>0 0 0.5 0 0 0</pose>
      <link name="link">
        <collision name="collision">
          <geometry>
            <box>
              <size>1 1 1</size>
            </box>
          </geometry>
        </collision>

        <visual name="visual">
          <geometry>
            <box>
              <size>1 1 1</size>
            </box>
          </geometry>
        </visual>
      </link>

      <plugin name="model_push" filename="libmodel_push.so"/>
    </model>        
  </world>
</sdf>

The hook to attach a plugin to a model is specified at the end of the model element block using:

<plugin name="model_push" filename="libmodel_push.so"/>

Add your library path to the GAZEBO_PLUGIN_PATH:

$ export GAZEBO_PLUGIN_PATH=$HOME/gazebo_plugin_tutorial/build:$GAZEBO_PLUGIN_PATH

To start simulation, run

$ cd ~/gazebo_plugin_tutorial/
$ gzserver -u model_push.world

The -u option starts the server in a paused state.

In a separate terminal, start the gui

$ gzclient

Click on the play button in the gui to unpause the simulation, and you should see the box move.