Add support for bullet3 (GPU-accelerated physics)

Issue #963 new
Steven Peters
created an issue

The bullet3 repository has support for GPU acceleration of the whole rigid body dynamics and collision checking pipeline. We should support this physics engine in Gazebo.

Comments (9)

  1. Steven Peters reporter

    The current interfaces between gazebo and bullet are in the gazebo/physics/bullet folder:

    Also, we currently search for bullet 2.82 in cmake/SearchForStuff.cmake. The bullet3 master branch currently has version number of 2.83 and has had a 2.83 alpha release, but no official 2.83 release yet. So to build bullet3 from source, one should increment the version that gazebo searches for to 2.83.

    The bullet3 repository also has the bullet 2 API in parallel with the bullet3 API. So presumably, we should make sure gazebo works with 2.83, and then figure out how to connect to the new API.

    Sorry I don't have any more concrete suggestions than that. I'm not actively working on this right now. Feel free to post your progress and questions here, and we'll try to be of assistance.

  2. Thomas Wood

    Those suggestions were very helpful. Thanks for letting me know where to start.

    I'll begin working on this soon and let you know if I have any questions or progress to report.

  3. Thomas Wood

    Bullet3 is now working fine on my old HD 6900 ATI, so I decided it was time to follow @Steven Peters suggestion and increment the minimum required bullet version to 2.83.

    It appears to be working after I made a couple of minor edits. I can make a pull request if anyone else wants to see what I have changed so far. I'm pretty sure I haven't begun to scratch the surface of the changes that need to be made to fully utilize the GPU computing capability of Bullet3, but first things first, Gazebo works with bullet-2.8.3.

  4. Steven Peters reporter

    Perhaps you could commit some of your changes to a fork of gazebo? I don't think we will require bullet 2.83 immediately, since it is not yet in any of the Ubuntu releases (Vivid has 2.82).

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