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Topic/msg inspection tool.

asked 2016-02-29 12:52:11 -0500

BSBingham gravatar image


I am coming to ROS as an LCM user. One of the LCM tools that I found very useful was lcm-spy ( ). The tool provided a complete high-level view of all published messages and the ability to drill down at examine the content of individual messages.

I have tried to replicate this functionality with various command-line options to rostopic without any luck. My suspicion is that this tool exists.

Thank you, Briani

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answered 2016-02-29 16:04:35 -0500

gvdhoorn gravatar image

updated 2016-02-29 16:06:44 -0500

From the man page you link:

lcm-spy collects the following statistics for each channel:

  • Channel name

This would be topic I guess in ROS: rostopic list / rosservice list (although those are not channels). If you want a GUI tool: rqt_graph.

  • Number of messages received

This is a bit trickier, and would need some bash scripting to keep a running total. Perhaps another member can suggest a suitable one-liner.

  • Message Rate (Hz)
rostopic hz /topic_name
  • Bandwidth (KB/s)
rostopic bw /topic_name

See also wiki/rostopic.

Note that these statistics are all relative to the start of a rostopic invocation.

You might also be interested in wiki/Topics - Topic statistics and rqt_graphprofiler.


[..] and examine the content of individual messages.

That would be rostopic echo /topic_name. Be aware that this can result in a lot of data for high-frequency / high-volume topics.

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Thank you for the recommendations. It turns out what I was looking for was/is rqt_topic. The other tools are useful.

Thank you!

BSBingham gravatar image BSBingham  ( 2016-03-16 00:03:48 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2016-02-29 12:52:11 -0500

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Last updated: Feb 29 '16