ROS Resources: Documentation | Support | Discussion Forum | Index | Service Status | ros @ Robotics Stack Exchange
Ask Your Question

what does the word "transform" mean in tf?

asked 2017-10-05 21:09:57 -0500

I am new to ROS and as a result was reading about the tf package. I read this paper: ; where the author made statements such as "...The request is the same in every case, and the programmer only needs to know the coordinate frames in which they want to operate and those relevant to the task, as long as the system knows the intermediate frames and can compute the resultant transforms.", another one is "The tf library can be separated into two different parts. The first part is disseminating transform information to the entire system. The second part of the library receives the transform information and stores it for later use".

I do not understand the context in which this word is used. My understanding of the word transform is synonymous to the word 'change'. Can you please help me understand the context in which this word is used? I do not understand what "transform information" means, and all other uses of this word in this document. Thanks for your help... this will help me better understand the package.

edit retag flag offensive close merge delete


Is section 6.2 like something you're looking for?

andymcevoy gravatar image andymcevoy  ( 2017-10-05 23:13:13 -0500 )edit

1 Answer

Sort by ยป oldest newest most voted

answered 2017-10-06 02:23:55 -0500

gvdhoorn gravatar image

updated 2017-10-06 02:46:12 -0500

The author is referring to coordinate transformations, the mathematical concept.

See (random internet link) Coordinate Transformations for instance.

tf is a library that makes handling such transforms in the context of robotics applications in ROS almost trivial, hence the popularity of it (and many references to it) in ROS.

From the wiki/tf2 page:

tf2 is the second generation of the transform library, which lets the user keep track of multiple coordinate frames over time. tf2 maintains the relationship between coordinate frames in a tree structure buffered in time, and lets the user transform points, vectors, etc between any two coordinate frames at any desired point in time.

And see #q270403 for a related question.

edit flag offensive delete link more


thanks for this answer. I now understand. thanks.

BuilderMike gravatar image BuilderMike  ( 2017-10-06 13:08:39 -0500 )edit

Question Tools

1 follower


Asked: 2017-10-05 21:09:57 -0500

Seen: 1,297 times

Last updated: Oct 06 '17