To visualize the robot model with URDF (Universal Robot Description Format), there are two steps to be done in Formant.

Step 1: Create URDF .zip file
To prepare a URDF for the web, you must create a zip that contains the following:

  • urdf in the root folder
  • meshes referenced by the urdf

Currently formant only supports .dae models. You can easily convert models using ctmconv. You can install ctmconv on a Ubuntu system by performing the following steps:

apt-get install openctm-tools
ctmconv leg.stl leg.dae

It's important that your meshes be referenced by relative links. Remove absolute paths that start with "package://".

mesh filename="meshes/base_link.dae" /

NOTE: Do not put the URDF and meshes folder within another folder before zipping. Zip the URDF and mesh folder directly.
The proper folder/file structure for the zip is as follows:

    • my_arm.urdf
    • meshes/
      • arm1.dae
      • arm2.dae

Step 2: Upload the URDF .zip file in Device Settings
To upload URDF file, go to the device page (or to the corresponding configuration template)

From the burger menu select Settings⇒ Devices ⇒ edit the device
Under the General tab, go to URDF section -> Add URDF

Choose the URDF .zip file from your local machine. This file gets uploaded to the Formant Cloud Files.

Step 3: Configure teleoperation view to include URDF
Once the URDF file is uploaded, go to the teleoperation tab on the same device. There are two items that should be completed on this tab.

  1. Add the joint state ROS topic as a stream. Click on JOINT STATE to add new joint state ROS topic.
  2. Add the stream to the Primary view