Slowly and surely we are switching Gazebo from its built-in transport library to the new Ignition Transport library based on ZeroMQ and Protobuf. The Ignition Transport library is independent of Gazebo, and designed for use in robotic and in non-robotic applications.
Recently, we have added new features to Ignition Transport including
Ignition Transport has been available in Ubuntu since Trusty, with version 1.3 scheduled for Yakkety. Gazebo 8, to be released in January 2017, will depend on Ignition Transport 1 or greater.
OSRF has internally used Ignition Transport in a number of projects, including HAPTIX and Mentor2. We believe it is ready for prime-time use, and we will be making more use of it in Gazebo and other projects.
Inertia plays an important role in simulation. An object's inertia defines how it will move and react to forces, including gravity. Incorrect inertia values can lead to strange behavior.
Gazebo has a visualization tool that helps debug inertia values. Within the Gazebo GUI, right click on a model and select View→Inertia. You should see a purple box with green axes for each link. The center of each box is aligned with the center of mass of its link. The sizes and orientations of the boxes correspond to unit-mass boxes with the same inertial behavior as their corresponding links.
A rule of thumb is to make sure the purple boxes roughly match each link in size. There are exceptions to this rule, such as an object that doesn't have uniform density.
A fire station is an active pull request to the model database.
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