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Provided you are using the kinetic-devel version of ur_modern_driver and provided you are running your network at 125 Hz and you make sure to not violate any limits, you could make use of the ros_control compatibility, configure a JointGroupPositionController, keep track of the absolute joint angles and publish new targets to the position controller.

Alternatively: use the JointGroupVelocityController that's already there and publish velocities.

Another alternative could be to use something like jog_arm between you and the driver. It can take care of some of the steps I wrote about above.

Provided you are using the kinetic-devel version of ur_modern_driver and provided you are running your network at 125 Hz and you make sure to not violate any limits, you could make use of the ros_control compatibility, configure a JointGroupPositionController, keep track of the absolute joint angles and publish new targets to the position controller.

Alternatively: use the JointGroupVelocityController that's already there and publish velocities.

Another alternative could be to use something like jog_arm between you and the driver. It can take care of some of the steps I wrote about above.


Edit:

which rostopic should 3rd part controller publish to

just an observation: all controllers would be "3rd party" in this setup. I'm not sure what would make yours different from any other.