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Converting Python tf code to C++

asked 2017-04-01 23:01:24 -0500

Cerin gravatar image

updated 2017-04-01 23:03:05 -0500

Are there any non-trivial examples for using the tf package to calculate quaternions in C++ for an Arduino?

I'm trying to convert this Python code for publishing IMU data, to the equivalent C++, so I can run it on an Arduino using the rosserial_arduino package:

import rospy
import tf
from sensor_msgs.msg import Imu
from std_msgs.msg import Header

imu_msg = Imu()
imu_msg.header = Header()
imu_msg.header.stamp =
imu_msg.header.frame_id = '/base_link'
quaternion = tf.transformations.quaternion_from_euler(roll, pitch, yaw)
imu_msg.orientation.x = quaternion[0]
imu_msg.orientation.y = quaternion[1]
imu_msg.orientation.z = quaternion[2]
imu_msg.orientation.w = quaternion[3]
imu_msg.linear_acceleration.x = accel[0]
imu_msg.linear_acceleration.y = accel[1]
imu_msg.linear_acceleration.z = accel[2]

However, even though there are several general-purpose C++ examples and rosserial_arduino examples for using Tf, I can't find anything for calculating quaternions on the Arduino.

All the C++ code I've found seems to require defining:

tf::Transform transform;

However, there doesn't seem to be any tf.h header available for the Arduino, and this gives me the compilation error:

error: 'Transform' in namespace 'tf' does not name a type
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my 2 cents: I always try to do as little on the arduino as possible, in you case, I'd send the data you read on the serial connection and then handle the conversions on a system where you just have all the libraries (and python)

NEngelhard gravatar image NEngelhard  ( 2017-04-02 03:54:14 -0500 )edit

2 Answers

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answered 2017-04-03 14:17:51 -0500

Cerin gravatar image

updated 2017-04-03 14:19:14 -0500

It seems quaternions and IMU message sending work just fine on the Arduino, but some of the tf math is missing. Rosserial only implements createQuaternionFromYaw, but I need createQuaternionFromRPY. Fortunately, this algorithm is well documented elsewhere, as the rosserial_arduino author noted, so all I had to add to my code was:

static geometry_msgs::Quaternion createQuaternionFromRPY(double roll, double pitch, double yaw) {
    geometry_msgs::Quaternion q;
    double t0 = cos(yaw * 0.5);
    double t1 = sin(yaw * 0.5);
    double t2 = cos(roll * 0.5);
    double t3 = sin(roll * 0.5);
    double t4 = cos(pitch * 0.5);
    double t5 = sin(pitch * 0.5);
    q.w = t0 * t2 * t4 + t1 * t3 * t5;
    q.x = t0 * t3 * t4 - t1 * t2 * t5;
    q.y = t0 * t2 * t5 + t1 * t3 * t4;
    q.z = t1 * t2 * t4 - t0 * t3 * t5;
    return q;

and then my IMU publisher looks like:

imu_msg.header.stamp =;
imu_msg.header.frame_id = base_link;
imu_msg.orientation = createQuaternionFromRPY(imu.roll_radians, imu.pitch_radians, imu.yaw_radians);
imu_msg.linear_acceleration.x = imu.accel.x;
imu_msg.linear_acceleration.y = imu.accel.y;
imu_msg.linear_acceleration.z = imu.accel.z;

I ran into some weird issues because I forgot to advertise my publisher with:

ros::Publisher imu_publisher = ros::Publisher("imu", &imu_msg);

and I think that was causing the Arduino to crash or hang, and I was confusing that with the IMU packet being too big, when it was actually just fine. But after I added that, I was able to subscribe to /myarduino/imu with rostopic and see IMU messages stream without issue.

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answered 2017-04-03 12:16:10 -0500

tfoote gravatar image

Due to it's limited resources you cannot compile most of the ROS ecosystem onto the Arduino. There's a minimal implementation to be able to bridge data off the microcontroller, but not fully featured to do all operations on the microcontroller. (For example all the dependencies of tf cannot be compiled into the Arduino's memory space so there is a stripped down implementation available on in the Arduino interface.

As @NEngelhard suggests it's recommended to do higher level processing offboard.

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Asked: 2017-04-01 23:01:24 -0500

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Last updated: Apr 03 '17