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TF message visible in "rostopic echo /tf" but not in Rviz and tf_monitor

asked 2014-08-15 12:19:26 -0500

Péter Fankhauser gravatar image

updated 2014-08-15 15:58:50 -0500

We are using our own implementation to publish a tfMessage type through rosjava.

In the simplest test I can see the message with the command rostopic echo /tf as:

      seq: 567527
        secs: 567
        nsecs: 526999929
      frame_id: map
    child_frame_id: robot
        x: 0.0
        y: 0.0
        z: 0.0
        x: 0.0
        y: 0.0
        z: 0.0
        w: 1.0

While this looks fine, the command rosrun tf tf_monitor shows no frames, rosrun tf tf_echo map robot is unable to return the transform (empty list of current frames), and rviz does not find any frames.

The command rosrun tf view_frames generates this visualization.

The data is coming from a simulator where I publish the /tf message and the /clock. The tf message time stamp equals the current simulation time in /clock. The parameter use_sim_time is set to true.

Interestingly, recording and playing a rosbag with the topics /tf and /clock works, and the /tf transformation shows up correctly in tf_monitor and rviz.

My setup is ROS Indigo on Ubuntu 14.04.

Does anybody has an idea on how to debug this behaviour to figure out what's going wrong? Any suggestions welcome. Thank you!

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can you share you frame.pdf from rosrun tf view_frames

bvbdort gravatar image bvbdort  ( 2014-08-15 14:24:59 -0500 )edit

I have added the view_frames visualization:

Péter Fankhauser gravatar image Péter Fankhauser  ( 2014-08-15 15:59:30 -0500 )edit

I see some problem with timestamp, you can see tf is 74.913 seconds old while you are publishing 1000hz.

bvbdort gravatar image bvbdort  ( 2014-08-16 03:20:38 -0500 )edit
jwhendy gravatar image jwhendy  ( 2017-07-05 10:09:44 -0500 )edit
jwhendy gravatar image jwhendy  ( 2017-07-05 10:10:11 -0500 )edit

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answered 2014-08-15 16:21:09 -0500

ahendrix gravatar image

The message type for the /tf topic changed when the backend was switched to tf2 in Hydro.

Are you publishing a tf2_msgs/TFMessage or the older tf/tfMessage ?

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This was it, thank you for the tip, Austin!

Péter Fankhauser gravatar image Péter Fankhauser  ( 2014-08-19 22:42:28 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2014-08-15 12:19:26 -0500

Seen: 4,621 times

Last updated: Aug 15 '14