The most significant new feature is that we have added a new cable class that builds upon our force-accurate elastic cable model, but now also adds contact dynamics. As far as we know, this is one of the only open-source examples of realistic elastic cables with contact dynamics which can also run in real-time. (yes, the underlying Bullet Physics Engine has softbody cables, but they are wildly unrealistic in force propagation). We hope that this will be a contribution to robotics simulation that goes beyond just its role in tensegrity robotics research. For example, they may be of use for simulations of tendon driven actuation. You can see an example of the cable dynamics here:
In this release, we also developed kinematic motor models for increased actuation realism, new sensor features, added PID controllers, added new terrains, did further validation against hardware prototypes, and integrated a neural network library.
We also improved our core infrastructure by improving our build scripts, starting a continuous integration server, added unit tests, integrated JSON for data serialization, and developed a formal scaling framework.
There were many improvements to accuracy and runtime efficiency throughout the system, and many more small changes too numerous to mention.
Finally, we now have a framework to add tutorials, with the first tutorial on how to add more tutorials in place. Look for further documentation to come!
For details on all the improvements and features, please see the ChangeLog.
Please enjoy and spread the word! We hope this tool will be useful for anyone interested in tensegrity structures and robots!