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What is the use of multiple nodehandles

asked 2015-09-28 11:02:00 -0500

takahashi gravatar image

I didn't really get the concept of nodehandles from the ROS wiki and couldn't find any concise answer with google. I understood that a ROS node can have multiple nodehandles and they refer to the same node. In a node's main(), I first initialize the node using ros::Init() and then use a nodehandle for starting and shutting down the node. So what does the declaration of multiple nodehandles do in this case?

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answered 2015-09-29 02:57:47 -0500

Adolfo Rodriguez T gravatar image

Two reasons for having different NodeHandle instances in the same node are:

1. namespace scope: This is the most common usecase, and specifies the namespace prefix that applies to all graph resource names that hang from it. This is what @Boris refers to in his answer. For instance, the following two constructs are equivalent:


2. control callback spinning: This usecase is more advanced, or at least less common. It is possible to assign different callback queues to different NodeHandle instances, so you can for instance have a node in which some callbacks are processed at high-frequency (e.g. control commands), while others are processed at a slower rate.

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answered 2015-09-28 17:26:00 -0500

updated 2015-09-28 17:26:55 -0500

The most common use is to get access to both private and global ROS namespaces.

So a very typical thing to do would be something like this:

node_ = ros::NodeHandlePtr(new ros::NodeHandle);
pnode_ = ros::NodeHandlePtr(new ros::NodeHandle("~"));

with this approach you can publish your topics on the global namespace by using node_->advertise<...>(...), while accessing parameters under private namespace with pnode_->param(...).

Also note that NodeHandlePtr is actually a shared pointer (smart pointer), so it does internal reference counting, thus it controls object's lifetime.

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Thank you for the answer and especially for the note about the shared pointer nature.

takahashi gravatar image takahashi  ( 2015-09-29 01:41:20 -0500 )edit

Do you have an example of another possible use case?

takahashi gravatar image takahashi  ( 2015-09-29 01:54:57 -0500 )edit

Not really, apart from what Adolfo mentioned.

Boris gravatar image Boris  ( 2015-09-29 06:28:25 -0500 )edit

answered 2015-09-29 04:20:43 -0500

SVS gravatar image

You can use this blog for better understanding.

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answered 2019-04-09 02:03:50 -0500

七小丘人 gravatar image

In my opinion, sometimes I need to use a service client in a callback, then I can create a new nodehandle.

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Asked: 2015-09-28 11:02:00 -0500

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Last updated: Apr 09 '19