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Software-only prototyping - feasible?

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A good place to start understanding simulations and how they work is by reading Statistics Book. There are also many stat online tutorials that will give you the basic mathematics behind simulations. The main reason people use simulation is to predict outcomes or detect mistakes. 

Statistics isn't going to help simulate robots, though. You need mechanical dynamics for that. Which, in turn, needs multidimensional algebra. The game engines / physics simulation packages do some amount of work to hide the nastier pieces (inertia tensor, Jacobian constraint solvers) for you, but you still need to understand position-and-orientation-in-3D-as-matrix, etc.

I released recently this online tool for robot modeling and simulation. If you have the time check it tout and leave your comments:


--- Quote from: mviljamaa on June 25, 2013, 04:33:12 PM --- Any examples of software or toolsets (involving many different software) that enable very high level of flexibility for a robot's design phase? What are the drawbacks of simulation (is it slow? inaccurate?)?

--- End quote ---

Sounds like you want to use Gazebo.


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