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Rate and sleep function in RCLPY library for ROS2

asked 2020-07-30 04:07:48 -0500

skyhigh2000 gravatar image

Recently I started learning ROS2, but I've encountered one issue, I've created a package & defined a node.

#! /usr/bin/env python
import rospy
rate = rospy.Rate(2) # We create a Rate object of 2Hz
while not rospy.is_shutdown(): # Endless loop until Ctrl + C
    print("Help me body, you are my only hope")
# We sleep the needed time to maintain the Rate fixed above
# This program creates an endless loop that repeats itself 2 times per second (2Hz) 
# until somebody presses Ctrl + C in the Shell

So, I need to convert above ROS1 code for ROS2, for that I replaced ROSPY library with RCLPY and coded it as below:

import rclpy
def main(args=None):
    myfirstnode = rclpy.create_node('simple_node')
    print("Help me body, you are my only hope")

if __name__ == '__main__':

Now, I want to implement below-given code snippet using RCLPY but I'm not able to get all the functions required, I've got the RCLPY substitute of rospy.Rate(2), it is rclpy.create_node('simple_node').create_rate(2).

while not rospy.is_shutdown():
    print("Help me body, you are my only hope")

Please suggest RCLPY substitutes of the functions rospy.is_shutdown() and rospy.Rate(2).sleep().

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2 Answers

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answered 2020-07-30 13:24:16 -0500

jacobperron gravatar image

Use rclpy.ok() as a replacement for rospy.is_shutdown().

Using a Rate object is a bit trickier in ROS 2, since the execution model is different. We need to make sure to ensure it updates and doesn't block forever. One option is to call "spin" (which executes ROS callbacks, including time updates) in a separate thread.

The ROS 1 example translated into ROS 2 looks something like this:

import threading

import rclpy

node = rclpy.create_node('simple_node')

# Spin in a separate thread
thread = threading.Thread(target=rclpy.spin, args=(node, ), daemon=True)

rate = node.create_rate(2)

    while rclpy.ok():
        print('Help me body, you are my only hope')
except KeyboardInterrupt:


Another option is to spin in the main thread and poll the rate object to see if it is done. Something like what is done in this test, although this may be too complex for what you need.

I imagine the implementation of rclpy's Rate could be improved so that users can avoid creating an extra thread; perhaps something worth considering.

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Thank you so much for your answer, the code which you suggested is working fine. Actually, I'm new to ROS, I just had one doubt, why do we need to have a spin() function? Like when does the rate object gets blocked?

skyhigh2000 gravatar image skyhigh2000  ( 2020-07-31 14:47:09 -0500 )edit

We have to spin, because of how Rate is implemented. It registers a callback with a ROS timer, and any time you register a callback in ROS 2 you need an executor to execute it. You've probably noticed "spin" functions in many examples. These spin functions are simply wrappers around a default executor, for convenience.

If you don't call spin somewhere, then rate.sleep() will not wake up because the ROS timer it is using never triggers the callback.

jacobperron gravatar image jacobperron  ( 2020-07-31 15:39:10 -0500 )edit

Awesome, now I'm getting somewhere. So, basically the rclpy.spin() is just counteracting the rate.sleep() function, and from your answers I could derive that in ROSPY there was already a function in Rate which used to trigger callbacks & here in RCLPY we don't have such kind of function in Rate which triggers callbacks that's why we've to manually specify it. And yes how does the rclpy.spin() function knows when to trigger a callback, is it like the frequency parameter which we specified inside node.create_rate(2) is also passed to rclpy.spin() function?

skyhigh2000 gravatar image skyhigh2000  ( 2020-07-31 18:41:35 -0500 )edit

I could be wrong, but I think the implementation of Rate in rospy does not rely on callbacks (or it's hidden from the user), so you don't need to worry about spinning asynchronously.

how does the rclpy.spin() function knows when to trigger a callback, is it like the frequency parameter which we specified inside node.create_rate(2) is also passed to rclpy.spin() function?

It's kind of like this. Trying to describe it simply, a Rate object creates a Timer that is added to an Executor (typically the default executor). Then, rclpy.spin() checks the default executor for "work to do". The executor is the entity that checks if the timer has expired, and if it has expired then calls the user-provided callback.

I hope this makes things a bit more clear.

jacobperron gravatar image jacobperron  ( 2020-08-03 13:28:37 -0500 )edit

Ohh, it works like that, I understood!! Thank you so much for clearing all my doubts, I apologize if you faced any trouble in this. Regards.

skyhigh2000 gravatar image skyhigh2000  ( 2020-08-03 15:11:45 -0500 )edit

Happy to help!

jacobperron gravatar image jacobperron  ( 2020-08-03 15:59:04 -0500 )edit

when I set the rate for a node using "node.create_rate(1) # Rate in Hz" then use "rclpy.spin_once(node)" inside the "while" loop. I get the correct timing without the need to use "rate.sleep()" or threading. Can you confirm this ?

Muthanna A. Attyah gravatar image Muthanna A. Attyah  ( 2022-04-23 06:20:36 -0500 )edit

answered 2021-06-26 11:40:17 -0500

RobotDreams gravatar image

updated 2021-06-26 11:44:14 -0500

ROS1 to ROS2 MIGRATION ("Pythonic" ~/ros2ws/src/simple_node_pkg/simple_node_pkg/ ):

#!/usr/bin/env python3

# First create Python ROS2 package:
# cd ~/ros2_ws/src        
# ros2 pkg create --build-type ament_python --node-name simple_node simple_node_pkg
# edit this file into ~/ros2ws/src/simple_node_pkg/simple_node_pkg/
# add entry point to ~/ros2ws/src/simple_node_pkg/
#     'console_scripts': [
#            'simple_node = simple_node_pkg.simple_node:main',

# source install/setup.bash
# ros2 run simple_node_pkg simple_node

import rclpy
from rclpy.node import Node

from std_msgs.msg import String

class Simple_Node(Node):

    def __init__(self):

        # Create a timer that will gate the node actions twice a second
        timer_period = 0.5  # seconds
        self.timer = self.create_timer(timer_period, self.node_callback)

    def node_callback(self):
        self.get_logger().info('simple_node is alive')

def main(args=None):

    my_node = Simple_Node()   # instantiate my simple_node

    rclpy.spin(my_node)       # execute simple_node 

    # Destroy the node explicitly
    # (optional - otherwise it will be done automatically
    # when the garbage collector destroys the node object)

if __name__ == '__main__':

my thoughts at least - I'm just learning ROS2

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Asked: 2020-07-30 04:07:48 -0500

Seen: 6,333 times

Last updated: Jun 26 '21