About a standard robot description format

On Thu, 8 Oct 2009, Vincent Padois wrote:

> We are some researchers at ISIR [1] willing to move to more open and
> standard tools for robots control and simulation.

Very good intention! :-)

> This move is likely to be slow and it looks like that the very first
> step would be to use standard formats.
There aren't many yet... :-(

> We are particularly interested for now in finding and using a robot
> description format that could be fed to simulation engines, collision
> checkers and visualization tools. Collada seems to be the fit, but KDL
> does not load it.

COLLADA is a perfect fit!

> We could commit some (mostly student's) time to make it happen, provided that
> (1) we can agree on the proper (and hopefully simple) way to implement it
> (2) it (at some point) gets integrated.
> Our first (still vague) idea would be to add support for KDL to PAL [2]
> or openRAVE, and benefit from their collada loader and viewer. However,
> we never used these softwares, and maybe KDL is too far from a game
> engine to make it easy.

Since last January, KDL development has been working together with Blender,
and especially the game engine is a high priority target. Some KDL code has
already been integrated into the Blender 2.5 source tree. (See the "Blender
for Robotics" wiki for more information.
<http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Robotics:Index> There is also a
mailinglist connected to that project.)

In summary, KDL is definitely interested in "game engine" applications :-)
And in COLLADA support!

> We would be happy to share your thought about this subject.


> Best regards,
> Vincent Padois
> PS : I and other researchers from ISIR will present at IROS in Saint-Louis, let us know if you are there too and have time to discuss this subject.
> [1] www.isir.upmc.fr
> [2] http://www.adrianboeing.com/pal/

K.U.Leuven, Mechanical Eng., Mechatronics & Robotics Research Group
<http://people.mech.kuleuven.be/~bruyninc> Tel: +32 16 328056
EURON Coordinator (European Robotics Research Network) <http://www.euron.org>
Open Realtime Control Services <http://www.orocos.org>
Associate Editor JOSER <http://www.joser.org>, IJRR <http://www.ijrr.org>