Control of multiple robot models inside Rviz

asked 2019-02-22 07:18:47 -0500

Ravi Joshi gravatar image

updated 2019-02-22 19:58:45 -0500

I have the URDF file of my robot model. I am able to visualize it inside ROS using the following command:

roslaunch urdf_tutorial display.launch model:=my_robot.urdf

Please note that the above command was used when only one robot, i.e. my_robot is present. Inside the RViz, I can see my_robot after checking RobotModel and I can also see tf frames after adding TF inside the RViz.

Now, In order to move my_robot, I am providing joint angles by writing a joint state publisher in the following way:

#include <ros/ros.h>
#include <sensor_msgs/JointState.h>
#define TOTAL_JOINTS 8

int main(int argc, char** argv)
  ros::init(argc, argv, "my_robot_controller");
  ros::NodeHandle n;
  ros::Publisher joint_state_pub = n.advertise<sensor_msgs::JointState>("joint_states", 1);

  sensor_msgs::JointState joint_state;

  // the following joint names are taken from my_robot.urdf file = {
      "joint_1", "joint_2", "joint_3", "joint_4",
      "joint_5", "joint_6", "joint_7", "joint_8"};

  joint_state.header.frame_id = "my_robot_link_0";
  while (ros::ok())
      // update the timestamp
      joint_state.header.stamp = ros::Time::now();

      for (int i = 0; i < TOTAL_JOINTS; i++)
        // here is some calculations for joint values
        joint_state.position[i] = joint_value * M_PI / 180.0f;

  return 0;

The above code works. However, I do have another robot, let say another_robot. This is a commercial robot and I have installed its SDK. Hence whenever I execute this SDK, I can see this robot inside RVIZ.

I want to know how to control and visualize multiple robots inside RViz?

Just for quick understanding, below is the code of display.launch which is inside urdf_tutorial package:

  <arg name="model" default="$(find urdf_tutorial)/urdf/01-myfirst.urdf"/>
  <arg name="gui" default="true" />
  <arg name="rvizconfig" default="$(find urdf_tutorial)/rviz/urdf.rviz" />

  <param name="robot_description" command="$(find xacro)/xacro --inorder $(arg model)" />
  <param name="use_gui" value="$(arg gui)"/>

  <node name="joint_state_publisher" pkg="joint_state_publisher" type="joint_state_publisher" />
  <node name="robot_state_publisher" pkg="robot_state_publisher" type="state_publisher" />
  <node name="rviz" pkg="rviz" type="rviz" args="-d $(arg rvizconfig)" required="true" />

I want to know how to control and visualize multiple robots inside RViz?

There are the following constraints in this integration task:

  • I cannot change the topics (say joint state or robot state) for another_robot, i.e., a commercial robot.
  • However, I am allowed to configure my_robot in all possible way.

Following are the functionalities I am looking for my_robot:

  1. URDF visualization inside RViz
  2. Real-time motions of URDF structure by providing all joint values
  3. TF frames for all links
  4. 3D position of all links with respect to my_robot
  5. 3D position of all links with respect to another_robot

I have the transformation matrix of TF base frame of my_robot with respect to TF base frame of another_robot. So I think If I can attach TF to my_robot, point # 3, 4 and 5 should be easy! Any clue for point #1, 2 and 3, please?

edit retag flag offensive close merge delete


As an observation: I would call "publishing JointState msgs" and viewing the resulting motion in RViz not controlling, but animating a robot model. Control is typically done using msgs other than JointState, as the latter are used to convey state, not command it.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2019-02-22 10:04:52 -0500 )edit

@gvdhoorn: Thank you very much. I have added the exact functionalities, I am looking to incorporate in my_robot. Can you please have a look again? Thank again for the help!

Ravi Joshi gravatar image Ravi Joshi  ( 2019-02-22 20:00:12 -0500 )edit

Hey, so were you able to find a solution. Im attempting to do the same thing but I cant get the bots to visulaize the map simultaneously. If yes then could please elaborate what all you did and also upload the files on your workspace. Thankyou.

sparsh gravatar image sparsh  ( 2020-04-23 09:05:26 -0500 )edit

@sparsh please only post answers that are actually answers, this is a Q&A site, not a discussion forum. I've re-posted your answer as a question comment.

jarvisschultz gravatar image jarvisschultz  ( 2020-04-23 09:33:38 -0500 )edit