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Best ROS Kinetic webcam driver?

asked 2016-11-18 12:14:59 -0500

MartinW gravatar image

Hi all,

What is the best webcam driver for ROS Kinetic? I've looked around and it appears libuvc_ros might be OK, but will this work with integrated laptop camera too?

Thanks in advance!

Regards, Martin

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3 Answers

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answered 2016-11-18 12:56:25 -0500

gvdhoorn gravatar image

That driver will work with any UVC compatible camera, so if your laptop camera is a USB camera that is UVC compatible (and almost all of them are these days), then I'd expect it to work.

Under Ubuntu (and probably other distributions as well), you can use guvcview to check: if that works with your camera, then libuvc_cam should as well.

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Thank you for the reply, gvdhoorn.

I tried installing guvcview and got an error saying no device found. I have a latitude E6540, would you happen to know what driver I could use to get it up and running with ROS?

MartinW gravatar image MartinW  ( 2016-11-18 15:52:21 -0500 )edit

guvcview has nothing to do with ROS, it's a Linux tool for interfacing with UVC compatible cameras. The only reason I mentioned it is because you can use it to make sure your camera is UVC compatible. The fact that guvcview can't find your camera suggests it is not. But ..

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2016-11-19 05:55:41 -0500 )edit

.. do you still have Windows on this machine? If so, does the webcam work there? It's rare for webcams to not be USB devices these days, but it is still possible. Try to find out what kind of webcam it is (look at the hardware properties fi), then you could try to set it up under Linux.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2016-11-19 05:56:51 -0500 )edit

Also: a "driver" for ROS is nothing more than a small program that on one side knows how to 'speak ROS', and on the other side can talk to the real, OS-level, driver of your hardware. So the first thing to do is make sure your OS can work with your device. Then worry about ROS.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2016-11-19 05:57:58 -0500 )edit

According to this pdf it should be a Creative Labs Integrated Webcam. The driver seems to suggest it's a USB cam. Don't know about UVC.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2016-11-19 06:07:32 -0500 )edit

Finally: what is the output of ls -al /dev | grep -i video?

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2016-11-19 06:09:40 -0500 )edit

Thank you for all the informaio gvdhoorn, the output of the line mentioned above is:

crw-rw----   1 root video    29,   0 Nov 21 14:44 fb0

And it does work in Windows using a program like Picasa. I will try Bluehash's response below!

MartinW gravatar image MartinW  ( 2016-11-21 15:50:19 -0500 )edit

It very much looks like you don't have any video device, which would explain why you can't get any of the nodes to work (the fb0 device is an output device, not a camera). The usb_cam package suggested by @bluehash essentially does the same things as libuvc_cam, so also won't work.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2016-11-22 01:44:48 -0500 )edit

answered 2016-11-21 14:17:26 -0500

bluehash gravatar image

updated 2016-11-21 14:17:52 -0500

I can help a little on the ROS side.

I've used usb_cam. The best way to test it on your laptop is to clone the github repo to a src folder in your catkin workspace. Change the video port in the launch file to whatever port your webcam is on. If an integrated camera is used, /dev/video0 should work. I use an external one, for which I use /dev/video1

All you have to do is a catkin_make and launch the node via:

roslaunch launch/usb_cam-test.launch

A video window should open. There will be a list of topics braoadcasting video data. I use /usb_cam/image_raw.

Edit: Tested in ROS Kinetic.

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Hi Bluehash, thank you for the response! I cloned usb_cam and was able to catkin_make the package no problem. However, when I try to run the launch I get this error:

" Cannot identify '/dev/video0': 2, No such file or directory "

Is there a Linux command to see devices?

MartinW gravatar image MartinW  ( 2016-11-21 15:56:01 -0500 )edit

Looks like you don't have a driver for the camera, that gvdhoorn was trying to have you list. Not sure what OS you are using.. or laptop.

bluehash gravatar image bluehash  ( 2016-11-21 16:41:14 -0500 )edit

answered 2017-05-20 13:55:10 -0500

This package works fine for me and does not require to compile from source:

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Asked: 2016-11-18 12:14:59 -0500

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Last updated: May 20 '17