6.8. ODEDynamics — Rigid body dynamics using the Open Dynamics Engine

class ODEDynamics(name = "ODEDynamics", gravity = 9.81, substeps = 1, enabled = True, erp = None, cfm = None, defaultcontactproperties = None, collision_events = False, auto_add = False, show_contacts = False, contactmarkersize = 0.1, contactnormalsize = 1.0, use_quick_step = True, auto_insert = True)

gravity is the acceleration due to gravity. The direction of the acceleration is in negative “up” direction (as specified by the scene).

substeps is the number of simulation steps per frame. You can increase this value to get a more accurate/stable simulation.

The simulation will only run if enabled is True, otherwise it’s halted.

erp and cfm are the global error reduction parameter and constraint force mixing value to be useed (see the ODE manual).

defaultcontactproperties is a ODEContactProperties object that specifies the default contact parameters. These parameters are used for contacts between two objects (resp. materials) that have not been set explicitly using setContactProperties().

collision_events determines whether the component will generate ODE_COLLISION events whenever a collision has occured. An event handler takes a ODECollisionEvent (see section ODECollisionEvent — Collision event object) object as argument.

If auto_add is True the component searches the scene for rigid bodies and hinges and adds them automatically to the component. This is done at the time the component is created, so any bodies or hinges created afterwards will be ignored.

show_contacts determines whether the contact points and normals are visualized or not (this is mainly for debugging purposes). The size of the contact point markers and the length of the normals can be specified via the contactmarkersize and contactnormalsize arguments.

use_quick_step is a flag that determines whether the ODE quickStep() or the regular step() method will be used. The latter is slower but more accurate.

ODEDynamics.add(objects, categorybits=None, collidebits=None)

Add world objects to the simulation.

objects can be a single object or a sequence of objects. An object may be specified by its name or the object itself. categorybits and collidebits are long values that control which objects can collide with which other object. The specified category and collide bits are assigned to every object in objects. Each bit in categorybits represents one category the objects belong to. collidebits is another bit field that specifies with which categories the objects may collide. By default, every bit is set in both values.

Objects without mass explicitely set will use the default value mass=1.

After adding an object to the simulation, you will not be able to control the position of the object using pos and rot. Instead, you will have to use an ODEBodyManipulator object.

For convenience, when adding a world object to ODEDynamics, it will receive a manip field representing its ODEBodyManipulator.


odeSim = ODEDynamics()
s = Sphere()
s.manip.setRot(mat3(1).rotation(pi/2, (0,0,1)))

Remove world objects from the simulation. The objects remain on the scene (they are still rendered, but do not interact any more with the other bodies).

objects can be a single object or a sequence of objects. An object may be specified by its name or the object itself.


If you have used references to some object’s odebody or odegeoms[i], you have to delete them manually before calling ODEDynamics.remove(...). Otherwise, PyODE will NOT remove the object from the simulation.


Reset the state of the simulated bodies. All bodies will be set to the position and velocity they had when they were added to the simulation. This method is also called when the RESET event is issued.

ODEDynamics.setContactProperties((mat1, mat2), props)

Set the contact properties for a material pair. mat1 and mat2 are two Material objects and props is a ODEContactProperties object describing the contact properties.

After calling setContactProperties(), collision events between two bodies, with their materials being (mat1, mat2), will always occur in this order. Therefore, the contact normal and fdir1 will be always in the same direction.

ODEDynamics.getContactProperties((mat1, mat2))

Return the contact properties for a material pair. The order of the materials is irrelevant. The return value is a ODEContactProperties object. A default property object is returned if the pair does not have any properties set.


Return an ODEBodyManipulator object that can be used to apply external forces/torques to the world object object.


This attribute exposes the PyODE World object. You may use it for setting advanced simulation parameters.

ODE World functions: <http://opende.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Manual_(World)>

PyODE World API: <http://pyode.sourceforge.net/api-1.2.0/public/ode.World-class.html>


To use the ODEDynamics component the PyODE module has to be installed on your system which wraps the Open Dynamics Engine.

6.8.1. ODEContactProperties — Contact properties during collision

The ODEContactProperties class contains all the parameters that are used when two objects collide.

class ODEContactProperties(mode = 0, mu = 0.3, mu2 = None, bounce = None, bounce_vel = None, soft_erp = None, soft_cfm = None, motion1 = None, motion2 = None, slip1 = None, slip2 = None, fdir1 = None)

See the ODE manual (chapter Joint Types and Functions - Contact) for an explanation of these parameters.


You only have to specify the mode argument if you want to set the ContactApprox* flags. The other flags are automatically set.

6.8.2. ODEBodyManipulator — Apply external forces/torques to bodies

The ODEBodyManipulator class can be used to apply external forces and torques to a rigid body.

class ODEBodyManipulator

You may get access to the manipulator of world object obj either using obj.manip field, or by calling ODEDynamics.createBodyManipulator(obj). One particular body manipulator instance is always associated with one particular rigid body.

A manipulator object has the following attributes and methods:


This attribute contains the rigid body (WorldObject) this manipulator is associated with. You can only read this attribute. If you want to control another body, use the createBodyManipulator() method of the dynamics component.


This is the Body instance of the PyODE module. You can use this object if you want to access special features of ODE that are not exposed otherwise. But note that you won’t get the expected results if you call methods like addForce() directly on the ODE body and you’re using more than one sub step in your simulation. The force would only be applied during the first sub step because it is reset after each step. Use this manipulator class instead, that’s what it’s for.


odeSim = ODEDynamics()
s = Sphere()
# Set the kinematic flag on the sphere (i.e. not influenced by external forces)

ODE Rigid Body functions: <http://opende.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Manual_(Rigid_Body_Functions)>

PyODE Body API: <http://pyode.sourceforge.net/api-1.2.0/public/ode.Body-class.html>


This is the list of GeomObject instances of the PyODE module.



ODE Geom functions: <http://opende.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Manual_(Collision_Detection)>

PyODE GeomObject API: <http://pyode.sourceforge.net/api-1.2.0/public/ode.GeomObject-class.html>

ODEBodyManipulator.addForce(force, relforce=False, pos=None, relpos=False)

Add an external force to the current force vector. force is a vector containing the force to apply. If relforce is True the force is interpreted in local object space, otherwise it is assumed to be given in global world space. By default, the force is applied at the center of gravity. You can also pass a different position in the pos argument which must describe a point in space. relpos determines if the point is given in object space or world space (default).

The force is active only one simulation step (it behaves somewhat like an impulse). If you want to apply a constant force, you have to specify it at every STEP_FRAME event.

ODEBodyManipulator.addTorque(torque, reltorque=False)

Add an external torque to the current torque vector. torque is a vector containing the torque to apply. reltorque determines if the torque vector is given in object space or world space (default).

The torque is active only one simulation step. For constant torque, you have to specify it at every STEP_FRAME event.


Set the initial position of the body. pos must be a 3-sequence of floats containing the new position.


Set the initial orientation of the body. rot must be a mat3 containing a rotation matrix.


Set the initial linear velocity of the body. vel must be a 3-sequence of floats containing the new velocity.


Set the initial angular velocity of the body. vel must be a 3-sequence of floats containing the new velocity.


Set the position of the body. pos must be a 3-sequence of floats containing the new position.


Set the orientation of the body.

rot is a mat3 containing a rotation matrix.

rot may also be a list with 9 elements in row-major order.


Set the linear velocity of the body. vel must be a 3-sequence of floats containing the new velocity.


Set the angular velocity of the body. vel must be a 3-sequence of floats containing the new velocity.


The methods setPos(), setRot(), setLinearVel(), setAngularVel(), addForce() and addTorque() automatically wake up (enable) the associated body. This is very useful if you have set ODEDynamics.world.setAutoDisableFlag(True) and the manipulated body was stationary at the moment of call.

The implementation calls PyODE’s ode.Body.enable(), which corresponds to void dBodyEnable(dBodyID) from ODE API.

6.8.3. ODECollisionEvent — Collision event object

An ODECollisionEvent object is passed as argument to the event handler for ODE_COLLISION events.

class ODECollisionEvent(obj1, obj2, contacts, contactproperties)

obj1 and obj2 are the two world objects that have collided with each other.

contacts is a list of ode.Contact objects that each describes a contact point.

contactproperties is a ODEContactProperties object that describes the properties of the contact. It depends on the materials of the obj1 and obj2. The event handler may modify this object to change the result of the collision. Note however, that the changes will be permanent and also affect later collisions.


Return the average contact position, normal and penetration depth (in this order). The position and normal are returned as vec3 objects, the penetration depth is a float.