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Is it necessary to broadcast both odometry and tf data?

asked 2017-04-09 20:12:31 -0500

Cerin gravatar image

Most odometry examples I've read show reporting of both odometry and tf. Is this necessary? If you're broadcasting the robot's base_link transform via tf, doesn't that accomplish the same thing as odometry messages?

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answered 2017-04-09 21:38:25 -0500

DavidN gravatar image

updated 2017-04-09 21:40:35 -0500

I think the answer depends on your applications. In another word: "who needs what?".

For example, in navigation stack (other stacks may differ):

  • AMCL node uses tf for localization because it needs to match laser scans to the static map. It would be a pain to use odom topic in this case.
  • Some of the motion planners in move_base needs both tf and odom for planning because they also consider the velocity data from odom.

Personally, I would think tf is a bit more complicated to use but it provides many other benefits (like timeout from last know transform, easily transforming a point from 1 frame to another, etc.), but it still depends on your applications. If you feel that odom data is good enough then there is no need to publish tf.

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Asked: 2017-04-09 20:12:31 -0500

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Last updated: Apr 09 '17