Simulation of Closed Kinematic Chains in Realistic Environments Using Gazebo

  • Michael BaileyEmail author
  • Krystian Gebis
  • Miloš Žefran
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 625)


Simulation is an integral part of the robo design process; it allows the designer to verify that the mechanical structure, sensors and software work together as intended. It can also serve as a collaboration platform for a team. Gazebo is a particularly attractive simulation platform as the physical behavior of the robot can be simulated in parallel with the ROS software that controls it. A lesser known feature of Gazebo is its ability to simulate closed kinematic chains. This is partly due to a lack of a well-established procedure for creating such simulations. This chapter describes in detail how robots with closed kinematic chains can be simulated in Gazebo. It explains how a robot model created with a computer-aided design (CAD) program such as SolidWorks can be exported to Gazebo so that closed kinematic chains are properly modeled, and how a realistic simulation environment can be generated. We provide detailed step-by-step examples that can be used by the reader to easily create new simulations using Gazebo and SolidWorks. SolidWorks was chosen as the CAD tool because it can partially export kinematic structures. Closed kinematic chains can then be relatively easily added to these exported structures so they can be used in Gazebo.


Inertial Measurement Unit Kinematic Chain Robot Model Closed Chain Parent Link 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Bailey
    • 1
    Email author
  • Krystian Gebis
    • 2
  • Miloš Žefran
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Industrial EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChampaignUSA
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChampaignUSA

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