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ZachBethel

Simulating tank treads...without the treads

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I'm playing around with Bullet Physics, but I think my question is probably physics engine agnostic. Basically, I'm looking to simulate an arcade/style tank. I want to use a constraint based system rather than a raycast system to make it a bit more physically based. I've basically set up a constraint that limits the rotation to one degree of freedom (the axis angle), and one translational degree of freedom with a spring (the shock absorber). I don't want to actually simulate the treads, but I'd like for the wheels to behave as if they have treads, i.e. a force applied to one wheel affects all wheels. More than that, some of the wheels are bigger than others, so I have to take in to account their size differences.

I guess what I'm asking is, do I need to do some heavy gear differential related math to apply forces to each wheel, or does bullet (or any other engine) have constraints designed to accommodate this kind of scenario?

Thanks!
Zach.

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