ODE instability

Adding the actuators to my ODE model proved much harder than first anticipated. Even with all the stability-enhancing features of ODE cranked up to the max (really small step size, CFM and ERP set high, unit size bodies, masses etc.) my model completely explodes. I think the reason is that when I pose the model, it is not completely still, and the abrupt movement caused by the spike in error correction at simulation startup simply blows out of proportions.

Open Dynamics Engine (ODE) exploded simulation due to instability.

I will work on it some more before giving up on it. One idea is to engage the actuator bodies after the rest of the model has settled. Maybe assembling the model in zero gravity will help as well. But so far it is not looking good for this project. :-( I was hoping that ODE would play nice. I have used it a lot before, but then I mostly played with the collision detection and building large structures out of blocks to see how they would collapse, which ODE handled splendidly.

In my frustration I went looking for alternatives and found this excellent collection of hexapod code by 12Cent Dwarf

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