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I'm not completely sure what will happen to topics and namespaces in a nodelet. Could you debug the topic connections with "rosnode info" and "rxgraph"?

For debugging octomap_server, just use rxconsole and set the log level to "Debug". If it's receiving point clouds it will give you some info. Note that octomap_server requires a valid tf from your map frame to the sensor frame, otherwise nothing will happen.

I'm not completely sure what will happen to topics and namespaces in a nodelet. Could you debug the topic connections with "rosnode info" and "rxgraph"?

For debugging octomap_server, just use rxconsole and set the log level to "Debug". If it's receiving point clouds it will give you some info. Note that octomap_server requires a valid tf from your map frame to the sensor frame, otherwise nothing will happen.

Edit: This is the actual error you see:

[ WARN] [1345446392.735855305]: MessageFilter [target=/map ]: Dropped 100.00% of messages so far. Please turn the ros.octomap_server.message_notifier] rosconsole logger to DEBUG for more information.

There is no tf between your sensor message's header and the octomap_server map frame id. The callbacks for integrating measurement data are only called by a message filter when tf is available. Otherwise it will just drop the messages. So your transforms may be wrong (wrong time or frame names). Are you sure that all the parameters are set correctly?

I also noticed that you set the camera frame as the map frame for octomap_server. Is your camera static and not moving in the world? This is the only use case when that setting is correct.

However, these errors should all also appear in the non-nodelet case!