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API review

Proposer: John Hsu

Present at review:

Question / concerns / comments

Adolfo Rodríguez Tsouroukdissian

Shaun Edwards

Dave Hershberger

Stu Glaser


As a general comment, I think we should be very careful when adding to or modifying the URDF. The URDF tries to do only one thing, and do that very well. There are other specifications out there (e.g. Collada) that cover almost everything you can imagine.

Thomas Moulard

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I am not against extending or changing URDF in itself, I think the PR2 specific extensions should be cleared and replaced by a generic mechanism, for instance. However, I am not sure we're going in the right direction here...

I suggest the following changes:

Of course, this makes only sense if there is a spec, first.

Here is my answer to the API proposal:

This last change goes toward the SDF compatibility goal but I think that the SDF format is really weak on this particular point so it may require an update IMHO. It will require an update anyway when you will add support for other sensors... ;)

One last point: what about srdf? the model_state element also duplicates efforts here...


I think we need a way to define worlds so that simulators and planning software for instance can use them, without being related to Gazebo itself. URDF should be cleaned of its extensions and sensor description should be handled from the outside of URDF/SDF.

John Hsu

Thanks everyone for your inputs. I think it appears to be the general consensus that we should do two things here:

  1. Exclude scene, scene_state and model_state extensions from the urdf package (and current review discussion). While these functionalities may be useful, but they are outside of scope of urdf.
  2. We will focus the current discussion on adding support for sensors to the urdf.

A more detailed response:

<scene>, <scene_state>, <model_state>

<robot> - <model>


URDF Specification

Todos as suggested by Thomas:

Meeting agenda

Core functionalities of urdf have been split out into a new project urdfdom. The new library has only system dependency on tinyxml. Below are some of the proposed changes and extensions:


Package status change mark change manifest)

2019-10-19 13:19