MOSES physx work

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MOSES physx work

Michael Heilmann

Opensim Developers

The MOSES team has wrapped up their current efforts on the PhysX investigation, and have made it available at

Dr Sean Mondesire, who lead this effort along with Dr Glenn Martin, has left the organization.  I am summarizing his efforts and the contents of the repository here: 

We were investigating the use of the newly open-sourced PhysX physics engine from Nvidia, and its potential effects on the number of Avatars and the number of Physical objects in a Simulator Region.  We selected OpenSimulator to perform this investigation.  The investigation took two routes: A local Physx module as a peer to the current Bullet physics module, and a remote PhysX module where physics calculations could be performed on a separate machine.  In order to minimize the work and create a stable baseline for our comparisons, we froze the OpenSimulator version we were working with.  This was both to prevent our developers from having to constantly rebase during the new development, and also to prevent new work from the OpenSimulator community from affecting our comparisons.  Our fork is a little after commit c4f86309683bc8db0bdeabddcefd78bb72b178b6, where Dr Martin and his team were working.  We are effectively at tag 24383.

Dr Mondesire had been publishing his interim results to this mailing list, so I will not rehash them here.  Due to licensing problems, which we are still working out, we have not included any binaries beyond what the OpenSim community already includes.  The libraries from Dr Martin's lab are permissive, but the NVidia license is too vague for our comfort as both a Florida State institution, as well as an Army Research Contractor.  The updated references our redmine page at which details build instructions for building the components as we used them.

While our work was beneficial to us, we hope that it may be beneficial to anyone in the community.  We invite anyone interested to have a look and play around with the modifications we have made.  Thank you for your help in this multi-year project.

Michael Heilmann

Institute of Simulation and Training

University of Central Florida

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