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Configuration of pointcloud_to_laserscan with stereo camera. [closed]

asked 2015-03-13 06:54:01 -0600

Tanmay gravatar image

updated 2015-03-13 07:09:35 -0600


I am trying to generate a laserscan of my environment by converting a pointcloud generated by a stereo camera, using the pointcloud_to_laserscan package, and I'm facing some issues. The details -

I am running the minoru stereo camera to generate the pointcloud, using uvc_camera's stereo node. (stereo_node.launch in uvc_camera/launch). I'm able to successfully access and manipulate the pointcloud received (/points as well as /points2). I also remapped the point cloud to /cloud_in, as required by pointcloud_to_laserscan.

To use pointcloud_to_laserscan, installed it (apt-get install, pre-built installation), on ROS Hydro. I modified the sample_node.launch file to my own launch file, minoru_laser.launch -

<arg name="camera" default="camera" />
<!-- run pointcloud_to_laserscan node -->
<node pkg="pointcloud_to_laserscan" type="pointcloud_to_laserscan_node" name="pointcloud_to_laserscan">
    <param name="use_inf" value="false"/>
    <param name="use_concurrency" value="true"/>
    <!-- <param name="target_frame" value="camera"/> -->
    <!-- <remap from="cloud_in" to="$(arg camera)/depth_registered/points_processed"/> -->
    <!-- <remap from="scan" to="$(arg camera)/scan"/> -->


Since I'm using a stereo camera, I have removed the OpenNI device node that was previously called, and I am not running the remaps.

I am also running a few nodes from navigation stack robot setup - tf_broadcaster -giving me the transformation between the base_link and camera frames. The camera frame is the default frame of the camera feeds as well as the input point cloud.

The issues I'm facing are as follows -

1) While the pointcloud itself is fine, when I echo the /scan, it has ONLY INF values (when use_inf is set to true), and = range_max + 1 (when use_inf is false). This occurs irrespective of what the pointcloud contains, whether it is within the maximum range or not.

2) Now given the range_max + 1 pointcloud, I should still be able to view this in RVIZ, which I am unable to do. The screen is just blank.

Some other details: I think it is a transformation frame issue, between the camera frame and the frame of the laser, but I am unable to figure out how to solve this. I ran rqt_console and changed the logger level of pointcloud_to_laserscan to debug, and saw this message -

    Node: /pointcloud_to_laserscan
    Time: 17:17:52.694141586 (2015-03-13) Severity: Debug 
Published Topics: /rosout, /scan



As well as :

Node: /pointcloud_to_laserscan
Time: 17:17:52.694023811 (2015-03-13)
Severity: Debug
Published Topics: /rosout, /scan

TCP socket [9] closed



My rqt_graph is here. image description

Can anyone suggest a method to solve this?

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Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Tanmay
close date 2015-03-15 04:11:12.957103

2 Answers

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answered 2015-03-15 04:10:09 -0600

Tanmay gravatar image

I managed to sort out the error.

Thanks to Paul's input, I found that ALL the points from the input cloud were being rejected, for various reasons. The common cause for each of them being rejected was that there is a difference between camera frames as provided by most ROS camera drivers (uvc_driver in my case), and how a laserscan frame is defined.

Camera frames have their z axis perpendicular to the image plane, x towards right, and y downwards along the image plane. Laser scan frames require x axis being along the forward direction (equivalent to z of camera frames), z upwards and y to the left.

I set up a transformation node between the initial camera frame and a base_link frame, with quaternions configured for the above frame mapping, enabled the target frame in the pointcloud_to_laserscan launch file, and the problem was solved.

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I seem to have the same problem. Did you mean that you had added <param name="target_frame" value="base_link"> to your launch file and the problem went away?

cvcook gravatar image cvcook  ( 2015-07-14 18:00:44 -0600 )edit

I think I added a transformation broadcaster to rotate the frames accordingly. That's a 90 degree rotation about the y axis and then about the x axis, depending on how you look at it. The translation was just 0, 0, 0.

Tanmay gravatar image Tanmay  ( 2015-07-14 19:05:17 -0600 )edit

answered 2015-03-14 12:45:22 -0600

paulbovbel gravatar image

If you're getting inf. values, but cannot figure out why, clone and compile pointcloud_to_laserscan from source, and turn on debug messages. You should be able to see messages such as this, which will tell you why the points are being rejected.

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Thanks for the input. I had done the same, and I was getting more than one of the errors - mostly that the points were being rejected for nan values (although some were out of the height range).

Tanmay gravatar image Tanmay  ( 2015-03-15 04:05:32 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2015-03-13 06:54:01 -0600

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Last updated: Mar 15 '15