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How to properly use TF2 transform python interface

asked 2018-11-26 14:42:02 -0600

mwrighte38 gravatar image

I'm trying transform a point in my cameras FOV to the coordinate system of my world.

I have calculated a distance in meters from the camera in x,y,z. How can I make the correct data type from the the x/y/z position and xyzw rotation of my camera?

I've tried to input a transformStamped() data type but I receive the error.

File "/opt/ros/kinetic/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/tf2_ros/", line 65, in transform do_transform = self.registration.get(type(object_stamped)) File "/opt/ros/kinetic/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/tf2_ros/", line 204, in get raise TypeException('Type %s if not loaded or supported'% str(key)) tf2_ros.buffer_interface.TypeException

What type of data type am I supposed to be using?

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I am also having this problem, did you manage to solve it?

mateusguilherme gravatar image mateusguilherme  ( 2021-02-01 10:02:38 -0600 )edit

1 Answer

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answered 2022-10-11 16:27:45 -0600

updated 2022-10-11 16:28:06 -0600

Okay, I spent hours trying to figure this out, and I solved it! I'll put my code below, but in general my approach is to use the buffer.lookup_transform to get the transform, AND the broadcaster.sendTransform to publish a transform.

What this does is let me read a rosbag, re-publish any /tf or /tf_static messages, and then when it's time to convert frames I can use and get the "current" transform, where "current" is whatever the most recently published transform is.

You might have an issue if your first data appears before your first /tf or /tf_static message appears; if you find this to be the case then you can optionally drop that data. For my personal use case, it doesn't matter. I tried removing the try/catch in the hopes that it'd speed up processing, but it didn't :(

Here's the code, enjoy!

import argparse
import rosbag
import rospy
import os.path
import tf2_ros
from tf2_sensor_msgs.tf2_sensor_msgs import do_transform_cloud

parser = argparse.ArgumentParser(description='Converts all pointclouds to a target frame.')
parser.add_argument('input', type=str, help='Input Rosbag')
parser.add_argument('output', type=str, help='Output Rosbag')

args = parser.parse_args()

# Force input/output files to be .bag files
if ".bag" not in args.input:
    print("Input file needs to have a *.bag ending")
if ".bag" not in args.output:
    print("Output file needs to have a *.bag ending")

# Does the input file exist?
if not os.path.isfile(args.input):
    print("Input file cannot be found.")

# Need to initialize a ROS node to do the conversion

# Setup the tf2 listener:
buffer = tf2_ros.Buffer()
listener = tf2_ros.TransformListener(buffer)

# Setup the tf2 broadcaster
broadcaster = tf2_ros.TransformBroadcaster()

# What are you trying to transform to?
target_frame = "your_target_frame"  # NOTE: You could use this as an input argument instead, for more flexibility!

# Transform the data!
with rosbag.Bag(args.output, 'w') as output:
    for topic, msg, t in rosbag.Bag(args.input).read_messages():

        # Inputs are copied as the basis for outputs
        new_msg = msg

        # Re-publish any /tf or /tf_static messages, so you can look those transforms up later
        if topic == "/tf":
            for msg_tf in msg.transforms:
        if topic == "/tf_static":
            for msg_tf in msg.transforms:

        # For my use case, I'm trying to transform PointCloud2 messages. You could switch on your own topic here.
        if hasattr(new_msg, 'cloud'):
                transform = buffer.lookup_transform(target_frame,
       = do_transform_cloud(, transform)
                print("Failed to find a transform to " + target_frame)
                # Choosing to continue here because you've got a cloud that wasn't transformed!
        # Output bag file has all the same topics in the input, but you're replacing the transformed messages!
        output.write(topic, new_msg, t)

# Don't forget to close the bag when you're done writing!
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Asked: 2018-11-26 14:42:02 -0600

Seen: 461 times

Last updated: Oct 11