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[ROS2 YAML] Config file without node name

asked 2018-09-26 11:19:43 -0500

Myzhar gravatar image

updated 2018-09-27 04:20:23 -0500

Is it possible to write a YAML parameter file without specifying the ROS2 node name?

The current format for a YAML file is the following:

                param_1: 0
                param_2: 'a'
                param_3: 3.14

The problem comes when I have a launch file that can dynamically change the namespace and the node_name (multi robot for example). How can the config YAML file be adapted to the dynamic change?

Thank you Walter

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3 Answers

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answered 2019-12-10 12:57:32 -0500

yossi_ov gravatar image

Well, I found a solution to that.

TL;DR put double asterisk instead of the node name in YAML file.

Elaborate demonstration is on GitHub:

Feel free to comment is something is unclear.

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Thanks for posting that example! This functionality should be available for ROS 2 releases of Dashing and later. (August 2019 and later)

dhood gravatar image dhood  ( 2020-04-22 05:02:06 -0500 )edit

I'm using this solution without any issue launching "normal" nodes with manual composition. It is not working instead if I compose the nodes in a container in a launch file. Is this possible?

Myzhar gravatar image Myzhar  ( 2020-10-20 11:22:31 -0500 )edit

Please, share an example that I could run and I will try to check that for you.

yossi_ov gravatar image yossi_ov  ( 2020-10-20 15:26:03 -0500 )edit

I found an issue on Github that confirms my problem: There are two workarounds but both do not fit my configuration. I'm using Eloquent.

Myzhar gravatar image Myzhar  ( 2020-10-20 15:39:06 -0500 )edit

answered 2018-09-26 12:16:25 -0500

dhood gravatar image

It is not currently possible to write a parameters YAML file that does not include the node's name. However, there is a very recent pull request that added functionality to launch_ros so that parameters can be specified in the launch file. If the node's name/namespace is modified in the launch file, that will be taken into account.

This feature has been implemented but not yet released; it will be included (with more documentation) in the Crystal release at the end of 2018. If you would like to use the functionality in the meantime, you can build ROS 2 from source using the 'master' branches as described here. This is an example of the usage today (syntax and naming may change in the future).

import os

from launch import LaunchDescription
from launch.substitutions import EnvironmentVariable
import launch_ros.actions

def generate_launch_description():
    os.environ['MY_ENV_VAR'] ='my_env_value'
    return LaunchDescription([
            package='demo_nodes_cpp', node_executable='talker', node_name='my_talker', node_namespace='my_ns',
                {'my_param': EnvironmentVariable(name='MY_ENV_VAR')},
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Interesting. A curiosity: why the variable must be an Environment Variable?

Myzhar gravatar image Myzhar  ( 2018-09-26 13:29:36 -0500 )edit

Just showing an example of the substitutions; you can use plain strings/python variables in the dictionary also.

dhood gravatar image dhood  ( 2018-09-26 15:07:11 -0500 )edit

answered 2018-11-08 12:04:53 -0500

lucasw gravatar image

updated 2018-11-08 13:44:42 -0500

I'm writing the yaml file to a temp location in bouncy:

import yaml
   prefix = "/tmp/"  # TODO make a unique name base on current time
   # usb camera
    usb_cam_params = prefix + "usb_cam.yaml"
    with open(usb_cam_params, 'w') as outfile:
        print("opened " + usb_cam_params + " for yaml writing")
        data = dict(
            usb_cam = dict(
                ros__parameters = dict(
                    video_device = device,
                    framerate = framerate,
                    io_method = "mmap",
                    frame_id = "camera",
                    pixel_format = "yuyv",
                    image_width = width,
                    image_height = height,
                    camera_name = "camera",
        yaml.dump(data, outfile, default_flow_style=False)
    # TODO probably should check if above succeeded
        package='usb_cam', node_executable='usb_cam_node', output='screen',
        arguments=["__params:=" + usb_cam_params]

The 'usb_cam' is hard coded above but the dict can be changed to use a variable for the name like:

        data = {}
        data[node_name] = dict(ros__parameters = dict(
                    frame_rate = 0.0,
                    width = small_width,
                    height = small_height,

But then the parameters are still hard coded within the - get them from command line with sys.argv? Argparse works.

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Asked: 2018-09-26 11:19:43 -0500

Seen: 1,424 times

Last updated: Dec 10 '19