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Timer fires all at once

asked 2015-04-06 15:18:46 -0500

I'm on Ubuntu 14.04 with ROS Indigo. I'm trying to repeat a published message for a few times, with some delay in between. It seemed that a ros::Timer was the tool for the job. However, I'm getting unexpected results. Instead of the timer calling the function once every ros::Duration(0.1), the repetitions are called instantly.

Here's some pseudo code to illustrate the program, I haven't the checked this code:

class MyClass{
    void myFunction();
    void myTimerCallback(const ros::TimerEvent& event)
    ros::NodeHandle nh_;
    ros::Timer *timer_;

void MyClass::myFunction(){
  timer_ = new ros::Timer(nh_.createTimer(

void MyClass::myTimerCallback(const ros::TimerEvent& event){
  // do stuff

int main(int argc, char **argv){
  ros::init(argc, argv, "pseudo_timer");
  MyClass my_class;

What I expect is that myTimerCallback is called once every 0.1 seconds, until I call timer_->stop(). However, what I see is that myTimerCallback is called the number of times I want it to be called in less than 0.001 seconds. In other words, there's no timing whatsoever.

Any ideas on what might be going wrong here?

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Where do you initialize the timer? Is it (for example) in the constructor or somewhere else? You have put it in a generic MyClass::myFunction() method, but where do you call this one? You could try the oneshot flag to see if the timer is truly initialized by that piece of code.

alextoind gravatar image alextoind  ( 2015-04-06 15:36:49 -0500 )edit

Hi aletoind. The timer is initialized in a subscriber method. I think my design can be improved, but it does the trick for now. I've answered my own question, because I found where I did something wrong. Thanks for thinking with me!

RafBerkvens gravatar image RafBerkvens  ( 2015-04-06 16:11:53 -0500 )edit

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answered 2015-04-06 16:10:17 -0500

It seems that I simply have been reading the signs wrong. As I said, the Timer callback did a publish, and I looked at the published message to establish the time it was send. However, the time of that message was not updated before it was published. I now update the time of the message with the event's time, solving my issue.

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Asked: 2015-04-06 15:18:46 -0500

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Last updated: Apr 06 '15