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Setting up ROS network with Velodyne 32e

asked 2013-09-14 12:37:07 -0500

sfergs gravatar image

updated 2013-11-14 11:12:01 -0500

tfoote gravatar image

I am trying to run ROS across multiple computers, with one processing data from the velodyne lidar and another computer receiving the published messages. I followed the instructions here from the wiki tutorial (Getting Started with the HDL-32E) in order to connect to the velodyne, but now I cannot see any of the published messages from my other machine. I am able to ping back and forth between the computers and set the ROS_IP in both .bashrc files. Everything is running on groovy.

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Can you rostopic pub and subscribe between the machines for a simple test?

tfoote gravatar image tfoote  ( 2013-09-16 21:49:08 -0500 )edit

I am able to rostopic pub and subscribe to all topics on both machines except the velodyne points.

sfergs gravatar image sfergs  ( 2013-09-17 04:23:49 -0500 )edit

What does `rostopic list` show on each machine?

joq gravatar image joq  ( 2013-09-17 06:00:28 -0500 )edit

Do you have enough bandwidth and computation available to send the topic across the wire? The Velodyne produces a lot of data.

tfoote gravatar image tfoote  ( 2013-09-17 07:29:58 -0500 )edit

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answered 2013-09-23 00:22:15 -0500

BenMa gravatar image

I was trying to do something similar and even had long discussion with Velodyne engineers. They are still investigating the issue. The conclusion is that home used router/AP might not be able to support large traffic required by the velodyne. Anyway Here is a list of known configuration that will/will not work:

1) Host connected to a wireless router, lidar connected to the same router, client connect to the router wirelessly. Your ROS client will not be able to communicate with host, nor receive velodyne packets.

2) Host, lidar, client are all connected to the router through RJ45 cable. It will work as long as your network setup is correct.

3) Host connected to the lidar through RJ45 cable, then connect to the router wirelessly, client also connect to the router wirelessly. You will loss velodyne packets, but it might "appears" working.

Hope that helps...

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answered 2013-09-17 06:07:49 -0500

joq gravatar image

This is not an answer to your question, only a suggestion.

Instead of running both the driver and point cloud conversion nodes on the same machine you can reduce the communication bandwidth significantly by running the driver locally and the point cloud conversion on your other machine. To see what the effect would be:

$ rostopic bw /velodyne_packets
$ rostopic bw /velodyne_points

The point cloud is about four times bigger than the raw packets, and publishes at the same frequency.

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Asked: 2013-09-14 12:37:07 -0500

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Last updated: Sep 23 '13