Plugin for rotating velodyne around an axis passing through its center.

asked 2019-09-27 10:38:51 -0600

lotfishtaine gravatar image

updated 2019-10-01 07:22:42 -0600


I'm trying to create a plugin to make velodyne VLP-16 Lidar rotate around an axis passing through its center (X or Y axis). This generates 16 rotating scan lines subject to the effect of their natural rotation around the Z axis and another rotation of the velodyne body around X or Y axis.

I'm using gazebo 9.0 and ros Melodic.

The URDF joint definition is :

    <joint name="${name}_base_mount_joint" type="continuous">
      <xacro:insert_block name="origin" />
      <parent link="${namespace}/${parent}"/>
      <child link="${namespace}/${name}"/>
      <!-- origin xyz="0 0 -0.11885" rpy="3.14 0 0" /-->
      <axis xyz="1 0 0" rpy="0 0 0" />
      <limit effort="100" velocity="1"/>
      <joint_properties damping="0.0" friction="0.0"/>

  <!-- Transmission is important to link the joints and the controller -->
    <transmission name="${name}_base_mount_joint_trans">
      <joint name="${name}_base_mount_joint">
      <actuator name="${name}_base_mount_joint_motor">

    <plugin name="gazebo_rotate_velodyne_plugin" filename="">

The plugin configuration is this:

#define _VELODYNE_PLUGIN_HH_    
#include <gazebo/gazebo.hh>
#include <gazebo/physics/physics.hh>
#include <ros/ros.h>
#include <geometry_msgs/Twist.h>
#include <nav_msgs/Odometry.h>
// Boost
#include <boost/thread.hpp>
// Custom Callback Queue
#include <ros/callback_queue.h>
#include <gazebo/physics/physics.hh>
#include "ros/callback_queue.h"
#include "ros/subscribe_options.h"
#include "std_msgs/Float32.h"
#include <gazebo/transport/transport.hh>
#include <gazebo/msgs/msgs.hh>

namespace gazebo
  /// \brief A plugin to control a Velodyne sensor.
  class GazeboRotateVelodynePlugin : public ModelPlugin
    /// \brief Constructor
    public: GazeboRotateVelodynePlugin() {}
    /// \brief The load function is called by Gazebo when the plugin is
    /// inserted into simulation
    /// \param[in] _model A pointer to the model that this plugin is
    /// attached to.
    /// \param[in] _sdf A pointer to the plugin's SDF element.
    public: virtual void Load(physics::ModelPtr _model, sdf::ElementPtr _sdf)
    // Output this message to see if this plugin is attached to our velodyne model
    std::cerr << "\nThe velodyne plugin is attach to model[" <<
              _model->GetName() << "]\n";
  // Safety check
  if (_model->GetJointCount() == 0)
    std::cerr << "Invalid joint count, Velodyne plugin not loaded\n";
  // Store the model pointer for convenience.
  this->model = _model;
  // Get the first joint. We are making an assumption about the model
  // having one joint that is the rotational joint.
  this->joint = _model->GetJoints()[0];
  // Setup a P-controller, with a gain of 0.1.
  this->pid = common::PID(0.1, 0.1, 0.1);
  // Apply the P-controller to the joint.
      this->joint->GetScopedName(), this->pid);
  // Default to zero velocity
  this->velocity = 0;
  // Check that the velocity element exists, then read the value
  if (_sdf->HasElement("velocity"))
      velocity = _sdf->Get<double>("velocity");


  // Create the node
  this->node = transport::NodePtr(new transport::Node());

  // Create a topic name
  std::string topicName = "~/" + this->model->GetName() + "/vel_cmd";

  // Subscribe to the topic ...
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Could you please stop bumping your question (ie: editing without actually editing it). If you haven't received any answers, that probably means that no one knows how to answer.

I would actually suggest you post this over at, as right now it looks like a Gazebo-specific question. Not a ROS question.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2019-10-01 08:52:23 -0600 )edit

Okay, Thanks

lotfishtaine gravatar image lotfishtaine  ( 2019-10-01 09:38:54 -0600 )edit