# wrong diff_drive_controller pose calculation?

Hallo,

I am using diff_drive_controller in my project. I wrote the hw interface which calculates the distance based on the ticks coming from the left and right wheels. I am sending absolut ticks (increased when moving forward, decreased when moving backwards). The ticks are coming from the robot (slave) left_wheel_ticks and right_wheel_ticks topics, while the hw interface is runing on a master pc and subscribed to these topics. Clocks are in sync. The calculated linear travel distance for each wheels seems to be ok and calculated well, but not the robot's travel distance (position in the odometry)

 void read(const ros::Duration &period) {
double distance_left = (_wheel_ticks[0] * ((_wheel_diameter * M_PI) / _wheel_encoder_ticks));
double distance_right = (_wheel_ticks[1] * ((_wheel_diameter * M_PI) / _wheel_encoder_ticks));

pos[0] += linearToAngular(distance_left - last_dist_left);
vel[0] += linearToAngular((distance_left - last_dist_left) / period.toSec());
pos[1] += linearToAngular(distance_right - last_dist_right);
vel[1] += linearToAngular((distance_right - last_dist_right) / period.toSec());

last_dist_left = distance_left;
last_dist_right = distance_right;
}

double linearToAngular(const double &travel) const
{
return travel / _wheel_diameter;
}


_wheel_encoder_ticks = 20 _wheel_diameter = 0.065

If I am pushing the robot by hand for 1 wheel rotation (20 ticks), I can see, that the left and right wheel (linear) distance is 20cm with my 6.5cm diameter wheels. My wheel raidus is 3.25cm, if I set the wheel_radius_multiplier to 2.0, it seems to be ok ... but I don't have 13cm wheels, but 6.5cm.

I would assume, that the position in the published odometry topic increases by 20cm / 1 wheel rotation, but it is around the half of it.

Why? What am I doing wrong?

Here is the params for the diff_drive_controller:

mobile_base_controller:
type: "diff_drive_controller/DiffDriveController"
left_wheel: ['base_lt_wheel_shaft_joint']
right_wheel: ['base_rt_wheel_shaft_joint']
publish_rate: 50
#extra_joints:
#  - name: <name_of_caster_wheel_joint>
#    position: 0.01
#    velocity: 0.0
#    effort: 0.0
#  - name: <name_of_caster_wheel_joint>
#    position: 0.01
#    velocity: 0.0
#    effort: 0.0

# Odometry covariances for the encoder output of the robot. These values should
# be tuned to your robot's sample odometry data, but these values are a good place
# to start
pose_covariance_diagonal  : [0.001, 0.001, 1000000.0, 1000000.0, 1000000.0, 1000.0]
twist_covariance_diagonal : [0.001, 0.001, 1000000.0, 1000000.0, 1000000.0, 1000.0]
estimate_velocity_from_position: false

# pose_covariance_diagonal: [0.001, 0.001, 0.001, 0.001, 0.001, 0.03]
# twist_covariance_diagonal: [0.001, 0.001, 0.001, 0.001, 0.001, 0.03]

cmd_vel_timeout: 0.25
velocity_rolling_window_size: 2

# Top level frame (link) of the robot description
base_frame_id: base_footprint

# no need to publish a TF based on encoders alone.
enable_odom_tf: true

# Jetbot hardware does not provides wheel velocities
# estimate_velocity_from_position: true

# Wheel separation and radius multipliers
wheel_separation: 0.12
# wheel_separation_multiplier: 1.0 # default: 1.0
# wheel_radius_multiplier    : 1.0 # default: 1.0

# Velocity and acceleration limits for the robot
linear:
x:
has_velocity_limits    : true
max_velocity           : 0.1  # m/s
has_acceleration_limits: true
max_acceleration       : 0.05 # m/s^2
angular:
z:
has_velocity_limits    : true
has_acceleration_limits: true


Thanks!

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( 2021-10-07 05:00:51 -0500 )edit

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## Update

Apparently, my understanding of linear velocity is wrong. The correct term seems to be angular velocity. I did some research and came across this. https://answers.gazebosim.org/questio...

From what I learned there, I think the following should be changed.

// Divide the linear velocity by the radius, not the diameter.
double linearToAngular(const double &travel) const
{
return travel / ( _wheel_diameter / 2 );
}


I think it is consistent with the case where setting wheel_radius_multiplier to 2.0 works correctly.

## OLD

pos[0] += linearToAngular(distance_left - last_dist_left);
vel[0] += linearToAngular((distance_left - last_dist_left) / period.toSec());
pos[1] += linearToAngular(distance_right - last_dist_right);
vel[1] += linearToAngular((distance_right - last_dist_right) / period.toSec());


probably don't need linearToAngular. Before doing this operation, the unit is set to meters. (This is the distance the robot has traveled.)

pos[0] +=(distance_left - last_dist_left);
vel[0] +=(distance_left - last_dist_left) / period.toSec();
pos[1] +=(distance_right - last_dist_right);
vel[1] +=(distance_right - last_dist_right) / period.toSec();


Also, since vel is supposed to be finding the velocity at that point, there is no need to add it.

pos[0] +=(distance_left - last_dist_left);
vel[0] = (distance_left - last_dist_left) / period.toSec(); // removed +
pos[1] +=(distance_right - last_dist_right);
vel[1] = (distance_right - last_dist_right) / period.toSec(); // removed +

more

Okay, so as you said, it is in meters (linear). The other commenter said it is in radians (angular) ... where can I find a documentation to figure out which is used by the controller?

The problem, that this (your suggestion) is not working as well.

I am not doing anything else, just driving my robot forward, watching for the linear distance for each wheels (lets say 20cm, because that is 1 rotation for the wheels), and checking the odom topic pose/pose/position/x basically, which should match with the linear wheel distance (because of the forward movement, same linear distance for each wheels).

It is not the same with you calculation and mine and real life basically.

( 2021-06-21 03:44:24 -0500 )edit
1

Just before your answer I found exactly the same issue :) But to be honest, it has to be angular velocity and pos, so the linearToAngular also needed into the pos and vel calculation. Now at least the odom is accurate. The navigation is still not working correctly ... but I am one step further. Thanks for the help.

( 2021-06-21 08:43:11 -0500 )edit

Thank you too. It was a learning experience.

( 2021-06-21 09:27:00 -0500 )edit

You have misunderstood the sensor data that the diff_drive_controller needs. It normally reads from a JointStateInterface. A joint state interface has information about individual wheels: the (angular) position of the wheel shaft and the rotational velocity of the wheel shaft. The JointStateInterace contains a separate entry for each driven wheel on the robot. The urdf provides the physical position info between each wheel and base_link of the robot..

The diff_drive_controller will do all the other calculations that it needs.

more

Thanks Mike for the help. As I know I need to connect my robot with ROS with implementing a hardware_interface with the read() and write() function.

In the write() function I need to send the commands to move my hardware. Here it will send radians/s for each wheel. My motors are using RPM (rotation / minute) but it is a quite easy calculation, I don't think I have problems with that, my robot is moving nice.

In the read() function I need to read the sensor data on my robot. Here basically I have encoder ticks (1 rotation = 20 ticks on my encoder). I increase / decrease the ticks, depending on the direction of the movement and I am publishing this info for each wheel separatly. My hw interface is subscribed to this and the read function is calculating the pos and vel based on the ticks and the period ...(more)

( 2021-06-21 03:28:59 -0500 )edit

but not the calculated distance (the odom/position basically).

So in my case, if I drive my robot 20cm, I can see that each wheel (one-by-one) moved 20 cm when I print this info out in my read() function.

But if I echo my odom topic in ROS, it shows a different value.

In my read function I print out a linear distance:

 distance_left = (_wheel_ticks[0] * ((_wheel_diameter * M_PI) / _wheel_encoder_ticks)


But I am not sure, that the pos should be linear of angular (which is used by the diff_drive_controller to calculate the odom topic AND the transformation).

None seems to be working ... in my question and original read implementation I used angular values for both vel and pos.

and as I know, if wheel_separation and wheel_radius is provided in the controller config, that will be used. I feel that the documentation for this is ... nothing?!

( 2021-06-21 03:33:55 -0500 )edit