News Mar 20: R.U.B.E v1.7 released. Instanciable objects!
Feb 21: Added RUBE sample loader for Cocos2d-X v3.4.
Feb 17: Funny Fists released in iOS App store and Google Play store. (YouTube video)
May 25: R.U.B.E v1.6 released. Samplers!
May 12: "On-the-fly" resource updating for Cocos2d-x
Apr 22: New blog post: Inverted pendulum control
Apr 7: On-screen logging class for Cocos2d-x
Mar 22: Downhill Supreme 2 released for iOS and Android
Jan 2: YouTube video: Making soft-body wheels in RUBE
Oct 6: Check out Supplyfront RTS, my 7dRTS entry continued.
Sep 26: R.U.B.E v1.5 released. Customizable item labels, snap-to-grid, export filtering, full-text help search.
Sep 18: Added RUBE sample loader for Cocos2d-X.
Sep 16: Updated RUBE sample loader for Cocos2d v2.
Aug 12: RUBE loader for Nape by Zeh Fernando
Aug 7: Added RUBE sample loader for SFML.
Jul 30: Try my MiniLD 7dRTS entry.
Jul 24: Added physics-driven particles tutorial.
Jul 20: New blog post: rendering solid ground (as in Downhill Supreme)
Jul 18: R.U.B.E v1.4 released. Command-line interface for batch jobs, hotkeys for scripts, better script management.
May 22: Downhill Supreme is out now! (iOS)
Apr 2: R.U.B.E v1.3 released. Collision bitplane editing, Cocos2d-iphone loader, usability improvements.
Mar 11: R.U.B.E v1.2 released. Now supports weld, friction, motor joints and automatic image reloading.
Mar 10: RUBE loader for libGDX by Tim Scott
Jan 28: New blog post: a functional combustion engine!
Jan 22: New blog post: wind tunnel
Jan 20: Added explosions tutorial.
Jan 16: Added buoyancy tutorial.
Jan 16: AndEngine sample project to load RUBE scene by Bart Hirst
Jan 14: R.U.B.E v1.1 released, now supports custom properties.
Jan 1: All basic tutorials are now available in Chinese at Huge thankyou to @OhCoder!
Dec 23: Discussion forums have been set up
Dec 4: R.U.B.E v1.0 is ready !
Dec 2: YouTube video: Box2D pendulum clock
Nov 26: New blog post: rocket platform thingy
Nov 25: Video of R.U.B.E scenes in Chipmunk.
Nov 23: A sample project to load R.U.B.E scenes into Chipmunk physics! Details here.
Nov 14: An XCode sample project to load R.U.B.E scenes on iOS is now available. Details here.
Nov 11: A Java version of b2dJson is now available, based on JBox2D.
Nov 6: A Javascript version of b2dJson based on box2dweb is now available. Demo here!
Nov 2: The full specification of the JSON format used by b2dJson can be found here: b2dJson file structure
Oct 28: YouTube video: 2-minute ragdoll in R.U.B.E Box2D editor
Sep 29: YouTube video: R.U.B.E Box2D editor usage example
Created: July 25 2011

Box2D robot arm simulation

I was thinking about how the json files could be used as keyframes in an animation, simply by moving things around and saving the scene for each keyframe. Even though the entire world is saved in the json, you could just load it to get the joint positions and then discard it. Not very efficient for a serious animation I admit but very easy to get up and running.

Although I am thinking about doing this for a ragdoll (well, it will be more of a motor-doll really) I decided to start small with a robot arm to see what I'm up against. The arm has only 3 joints and the base is fixed to a static body which makes things a little easier to begin with.

The action is controlled simply by looping through a sequence of keyframe destinations. When all joints are within x degrees of the target, the next keyframe in the sequence becomes the new destination. At certain keyframes the hand is opened or closed and a small pause is inserted into the sequence.

To move to the next keyframe, the motor speed of each joint is set to a value proportional to the distance left to move, and clamped to a maximum value. For this simple case it manages ok, but more work would be needed if you wanted to say, have the hand following a straight line between keyframes, or move the limb segments at different rates.

I don't think I will be doing any more work on this because I have pretty much learned what I needed from it - next step I'm jumping straight to a ragdoll... er, motor-doll.

Update: Source code (You will also need the b2dJson source code)