OpenRAVE Documentation

Robots Overview

File Formats


OpenRAVE supports the COLLADA file format for specifying robots and adds its own set of robot-specific extensions. The COLLADA format can be used to specify all robot and scene related information.

COLLADA Robot Extensions (Version 0.3.3) - (*.dae, *.zae)

COLLADA files saved as dae store the raw XML, files stored as zae stored the compressed XML. In order to preserve space, most robots in OpenRAVE are stored as zae.

The following attributes can be passed to the Environment Load/Read methods:

  • skipgeometry=”true”/”false” - whether to skip geometry or not
  • scalegeometry=”10 10 10” - scale all geometry by this amount
  • prefix=”newname_” - add prefix to all links/joints/sensors/etc
  • openravescheme=”x1 x2” - scheme to use for external references relative to $OPENRAVE_DATA paths are only specified with x1:/ or x2:/. If there is an authority, use x1://authority. The multiple schemes are all alias for the OpenRAVE database.
  • uripassword=”URI password” - adds an entry for a URI/password key-value pair to be used if the archive is encrypted

The following attributes can be passed to the Environment Save/Write methods:

  • externalref=”bodyname1 bodyname2” - if writing collada, specify the names that should be exported via external references. If *, then export the body parts using external references. Because a user could have made local modifications to the robot parameters, what is exported depends on forcewirte.
  • ignoreexternaluri=”uri” - a set of URIs to documents that should never be referenced externally by the current document being saved. Used to mark temporary URIs.
  • skipwrite=”option1 option2” - Skip writing these properties. Supported options are: * geometry - Any <geometry> objects * readable - From .Interface.GetReadableInterfaces * sensor * manipulator * physics * visual - The <node> hierarchy * link_collision_state - skips writing the link collision states
  • forcewrite=”option1 option2” - force writing these properties if external references are used. These are properties that can be set during runtime by the user and are more application specific rather than robot specific. If *, then force writing all supported options. By default, thse values will be assumed to be contained within the external reference. Options are: * manipulator * sensor * jointlimit - position, velocity, accel * jointweight - weights, resolution * readable - parameters through readable interfaces * link_collision_state - writes the link collision states
  • openravescheme=”customscheme” - scheme for writing external references. writer will attempt to convert a local system URI (file:/) to a a relative path with respect to $OPENRAVE_DATA paths and use customscheme as the scheme.
  • unit=”1.0” - how many real-world meters in one distance unit. For example unit=”0.001” represents millimeters.
  • reusesimilar=”true”/”false” - if true, attemps to resuse similar looking meshes and structures to reduce size.
  • password=”????”

Any attributes are also set through the collada-dom DAE::getIOPlugin::setOption.


OpenRAVE XML (*.xml)

Because COLLADA can be a little difficult to edit by hand, OpenRAVE also defines its own format to help users quickly get robots into the environment. It is possible to convert these custom robots into COLLADA using the following command:

openrave -save myrobot.zae myrobot.xml


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