Building Robots in Simulation

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Building a Virtual Robot

This tutorial shows how to use the simulator to build virtual robots.

Start the Simulator

Figure 1. Start the simulator
Star the simulator. See the section how to start the simulator is necessary.

Note: To install the simulator check the installation page.

The simulator presents a transparent battery module.

Add a Battery

Figure 2. Add a battery
Select the "FACE ON TOP": select the "BACK" face with the arrow in the initialization window. This changes the orientation of the transparent battery.

In morphology part: click on "ADD CUBE": the battery is added in the simulator.

Add Limbs

Figure 3. Select the battery
Select the battery with the right click: a transparent "BATTERY" cube appears on one of the faces of the first added cube.
Figure 4. Add an actuator
In morphology, change the type of cube (2st button from the top), select "ACTUATOR".

Click to add the cube: "ADD CUBE". The simulator adds an actuator cube and proposes to a new cube on a different face.

Figure 5. Add three more actuators
Add three more cubes around the battery to reproduce the robot in picture. Use the button "ROTATION" to have the correct configuration. Feel free to use the button "DELETE CUBE" if you need to delete a cube placed at an incorrect position. Note: the "WHEEL" of the mouse can be used to select the position of a cube, and the "MIDDLE BUTTON" of the mouse adds a cube.
Figure 6. Add four more actuators
Add 4 more "ACTUATORs". Pay attention to the module orientation. This is important because the orientation of the cube determines the possible motion of the robot.

Add Grippers and Controller

Figure 7. Add grippers and controller
Add 2 "GRIPPERs" on the robot like on the picture by using the correct type of cube and the good rotation.

Add 1 "CONTROLLER" module on top of the battery. Note the module orientation with the USB connector and compact flash memory socket on the top.

Save Your Robot

Give a name for example monster.mmf and save It. Note a monster.par file will be also created. This file will contain the parameters necessary to correctly position the robot in the environment.

Working with Morphology Files

Once your virtual robot was built and saved, it can now be loaded and edited at any time. To do so, type your robot's filename.mmf in the loading and saving window and click "LOAD".

To add another MMF file to your simulator, copy it into the cubeInterface directory.

To obtain an MMF file from a physically assembled robot, place a compact flash memory card into your robot, turn it on, and the robot will save its morphology into a cubes.mmf file on the memory card. Copy this file from the compact flash memory card into the simulator directory. Start the simulator. Type cubes.mmf into the text input field, change the initialization parameters to adjust the robot's orientation, and click load. The robot will then be loaded and displayed in the simulator.