[ros-users] Best way to define my KDL chains ?

Wim Meeussen meeussen at willowgarage.com
Mon Mar 29 17:22:22 UTC 2010

> I'm trying to build a KDL representation of our hand. I'd like to define
> one chain by finger, starting from the wrist (which will then be
> included in each of those chains), to compute the forward kinematics.
> My question is what's the best way to do that? I wrote a urdf file
> containing the model of our hand and parsed it with kdl_parser in my C++
> code. It works, but I'm not sure of how to use this kdl tree to define
> my chains (may be there's a proper way to define the chains in the urdf?).

You did almost all of the work already! The KDL Tree has a method
"getChain" that allows you to extract a chain from the tree. All you
need to do is specify the root and tip name of your chain.

> I also wanted to know if there's a tool in ROS that can be used for a
> simple visualization of my model. May be something like roboview?
> http://eris.liralab.it/wiki/KDL-simple

The urdf has a tool that shows you the structure of your tree

If you want to visualize your kinematic tree while you're moving it
around, you should use rviz in combination with the robot state
publisher <http://www.ros.org/wiki/robot_state_publisher>.


Wim Meeussen
Willow Garage Inc.

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