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Blocking service callbacks

asked 2014-04-23 06:13:45 -0500

crpizarr gravatar image

Hello everyone. I have been doing experiments with ROS services and currently I have this:

#!/usr/bin/env python

import time
import rospy
from beginner_tutorials.srv import * 

def handle_action_1(request):
    print "doing action 1"
    return Action1Response()

def handle_action_2(request):
    print "doing action 2"
    return Action2Response()

if __name__ == "__main__":
    action_1 = rospy.Service("action_1", Action1, handle_action_1)
    action_2 = rospy.Service("action_2", Action2, handle_action_2)

#!/usr/bin/env python

import rospy
from beginner_tutorials.srv import *

action_2 = rospy.ServiceProxy('action_2', Action2)
i = 0
while True:
    print "take %d" % i
    print "calling for action_2" 
    i = i + 1

#!/usr/bin/env python

import rospy
from beginner_tutorials.srv import *

action_1 = rospy.ServiceProxy('action_1', Action1)
i = 0
while True:
    print "take %d" % i
    print "calling for action_1" 
    i = i + 1

This nodes are basically a node that publishes two services, called "action_1" and "action_2", and two nodes that constantly call those services. By the way, the Action1 and Action2 services are empty services, with just a "---" in the .srv files.

The problem I see is that when I run these nodes, the caller_1 node shows the "calling for action_1" every two seconds, which makes sense for me. But, as far as I know, I would expect the caller_2 node to print its text every two seconds, since the services_node is "busy" with the callback for action_1. But what I see is that the caller_2 node works as if was alone, without waiting for the response.

Can you explain this please? I thought service callbacks were blocking, since it's just one node who is answering those services, but it seems the callbacks are not blocking in this case.

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1 Answer

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answered 2014-04-23 07:00:01 -0500

ahendrix gravatar image

Service calls are blocking in the sense that the caller will block until the server returns a response, and that the server for a particular service will only handle one request at a time.

I don't believe there's anything in the specification that says that two different services advertised from the same node will block each other. In reality, I suspect that rospy handles each service in its own thread, so that they don't block each other.

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Given that, is there a way to make a service callback block other service callbacks? I ask because in the real project (not these dummy nodes) all the callbacks have to write in a TCP connection, so I need to make the callbacks exclusive in respect to each other. I know there are synchonization primitves as mutexes and stuff, but I would want to know if ROS has another way to do that.

crpizarr gravatar image crpizarr  ( 2014-04-23 08:01:41 -0500 )edit

If you're trying to control access to a raw object, you should use the python synchronization primitives.

ahendrix gravatar image ahendrix  ( 2014-04-23 08:10:07 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2014-04-23 06:13:45 -0500

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Last updated: Apr 23 '14