For my project I am trying to model and control a quadrotor with actuating arms. As I don't have a physical model with me, I want to simulate and control the robot using ROS and Gazebo.

At the moment I have created a CAD design (servos are used to rotate the arms). I have read about URDF and know that I can define stuff such as sensors, velocity, inertia etc. The question here is as to how I can link the urdf with my cad model. How can I make the propellers and servos move to make the robot fly?

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    $\begingroup$ You can search for an exporter from your CAD model to URDF, for example for solidworks there is an add-on $\endgroup$
    – nionios
    Nov 19 '19 at 13:23
  • $\begingroup$ Have you tried searching for drone urdf models? Maybe they can provide insight by reverse engineering them, and checking up on how they designed and implemented the propellers. $\endgroup$
    – Spaceman
    Feb 23 '20 at 10:34

Modelling a quadcopter is a complex process. I would highly recommend starting with an existing model which is fully operational and then modifying it or extending it to match your design. You're going to need a lot more components than just converting your CAD model to URDF to get the simulation going.

There's a large variety of open source examples you can start with in the PX4 project. I recommend checking out the User Guide or the Developer Guide as starting points.


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