ROS-PyBullet Interface: A Framework for Reliable Contact Simulation and Human-Robot Interaction

Christopher Mower, Theodoros Stouraitis, João Moura, Christian Rauch, Lei Yan, Nazanin Zamani Behabadi, Michael Gienger, Tom Vercauteren, Christos Bergeles, Sethu Vijayakumar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review

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Reliable contact simulation plays a key role in the development of (semi-)autonomous robots, especially when dealing with contact-rich manipulation scenarios, an active robotics research topic. Besides simulation, components such as sensing, perception, data collection, robot hardware control, human interfaces, etc. are all key enablers towards applying machine learning algorithms or model-based approaches in real world systems. However, there is a lack of software connecting reliable contact simulation with the larger robotics ecosystem (i.e. ROS, Orocos), for a more seamless application of novel approaches, found in the literature, to existing robotic hardware. In this paper, we present the ROS-PyBullet Interface, a framework that provides a bridge between the reliable contact/impact simulator PyBullet and the Robot Operating System (ROS). Furthermore, we provide additional utilities for facilitating Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) in the simulated environment. We also present several use-cases that highlight the capabilities and usefulness of our framework. Please check our video, source code, and examples included in the supplementary material. Our full code base is open source and can be found at pybullet interface.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication6th Annual Conference on Robot Learning
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


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