Info on Open Dynamics Engine (ODE)

Getting the class simulator program

We are using the Open Dynamics Engine (ODE) simulator, since it works on Linux, Windows, and Macs.

We are trying to provide executables so you don't have to install ODE unless you want to change how the simulator works. We have Linux and Windows executables, and I will get a Mac executable.

Blocks1 is the first version of the simulator.

Design are useful programs to design structures.

To install these programs, download the zip files, expand them, and "cd" into the corresponding directories. See the notes.txt files in the directories for more information. You don't need to install ODE, say "make", or run Visual Studio unless you want to change how the simulator works. Just create more scene files like b1.txt and balls.txt. Run these programs from a (power) shell (aka command line interface).

Changing How The Simlator Works

Getting the ODE simulator package

The ODE code is on bitbucket. Download the latest version (currently ode-0.16.tar.gz).

Installing ODE on Linux

The instructions in INSTALL.txt section 2.2 are correct. Move the downloaded file (currently ode-0.16.tar.gz) wherever you want to put it. Unpack it and change directory to it with:
tar -xvzf ode-0.16.tar.gz
cd ode-0.16

In the directory (currently ode-0.16) type:

sudo make install

To check the installation, type:

cd ode/demo

Check out the other demo programs in that directory.

Installing ODE on a Mac

You may need to install an X11 window system such as XQuartz. Follow the download and install instructions here.

You may need to enable xcode command line tools: Open a terminal window by going to Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal. Install 'Xcode Command Line Tools' by typing in your terminal:

xcode-select --install

The blocks Makefile has to be changed, specfically line 25 to:

LIBS = -L /usr/local/lib -lode -ldrawstuff -lpthread -framework GLUT -framework OpenGL -lm

Otherwise the instructions for installing on a Mac are the same as the Linux instructions above. You can type the instructions into a terminal window (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal).

Copy the drawstuff include files and library into /usr/local/lib

sudo cp -r ./include/drawstuff /usr/local/includeode-0.13
sudo cp drawstuff/src/.libs/libdrawstuff.a /usr/local/lib

Installing ODE on Windows

If you don't already have Visual Studio installed (ideally the 2017 version) you need to install it. Download and install Community version of Visual Studio 2017 (Free download). I clicked on the file starting with vs_community in Downloads. I selected Desktop development (in C++), and Game development (C++) and then pressed INSTALL.

The INSTALL.txt file describes two approaches to compiling ODE. I could not get premake to work (section 1). Instead, I installed Cmake and use the approach described in section 5.

The downloaded ode-0.16.tar.gz file needs to uncompressed and files extracted. Winzip can do this. Google ".tar.gz windows" for instructions or other programs that can do it.

Once Cmake is installed and ODE downloaded, a shell (Power Shell in Windows 10) can be used to enter text commands. Assuming ode-0.16 was downloaded to c:, you can type:

cd c:\
cd ode-0.16
cd build
cmake ..
The key element of all this is the generation of the visual studio .vcproj files. To run a demo program, starting in ode-0.16/build/:

ODE Documentation




Sourceforge documentation. This code documentation is useful, as is Googling the name of a subroutine. drawstuff,

A good project would be to use other simulators. For example: Bullet (Google "plank simulation tutorial" for more).