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problem with custom point cloud type

asked 2013-09-16 18:56:17 -0600

brice rebsamen gravatar image


I want to create my own point type for my point cloud. Something similar to velodyne_pointcloud. So I created my point type, copying what joq did and adding my own fields to it. Then I used the POINT_CLOUD_REGISTER_POINT_STRUCT to declare (?) it.

I want to publish it and receive it as a pcl::PointCloud so I included the pcl_ros/point_cloud.h header file.

But I get compilation errors: no member name __getMD5Sum, __getDataType, serialize, etc.

According to the documentation, it should be possible to work directly with pcl::PointCloud<t>.

I read the code in velodyne_pointcloud over and over, and I also a created a small test package to test custom point cloud types and it worked. But I can't fix my "real" code. Please help, it's driving me crazy.

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answered 2013-09-17 08:25:55 -0600

brice rebsamen gravatar image

updated 2015-06-24 11:57:50 -0600

I found the solution: I was declaring my point cloud as

namespace velodyne {
struct PointType : pcl::PointXYZRGB { ... };
struct PointCloud : pcl::PointCloud<PointType> { ... };

but if I use a typedef instead then my compilation error disappears:

namespace velodyne {
struct PointType : pcl::PointXYZRGB { ... };
typedef PointCloud<PointType> PointCloud;

EDIT: Actually, I am now declaring my point type following PCL's model: it does not inherit from pcl::PointXYZRGB but rather copies the body of pcl::PointXYZRGB. In the end it looks as follows:

namespace velodyne
struct EIGEN_ALIGN16 _PointType

struct EIGEN_ALIGN16 PointType : public _PointType
  inline PointType () {  ... }

} // namespace velodyne

    (float, x, x)
    (float, y, y)
    (float, z, z)
    (uint32_t, rgb, rgb)
POINT_CLOUD_REGISTER_POINT_WRAPPER(velodyne::PointType, velodyne::_PointType)

namespace velodyne {    
typedef pcl::PointCloud<PointType> PointCloud;
typedef boost::shared_ptr<PointCloud> PointCloudPtr;
typedef boost::shared_ptr<PointCloud const> PointCloudConstPtr;
} // namespace velodyne
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answered 2013-09-17 01:47:55 -0600

Philip gravatar image

updated 2013-09-17 01:56:36 -0600

Just out of my head, it's been a couple of months: I stumbled upon something similar and it wasn't because of the custom type, but of how I used the publisher. Check if you

  • pass the correct object
  • template the publisher correctly
  • and similar stuff...

Hope this helps!

EDIT: Just looked it up. Here's the relevant parts of my code copied together:

ros::Publisher myPublisher;
sensor_msgs::PointCloud2::Ptr cloudPtr;
<fill the cloud>
myPublisher = n.advertise<sensor_msgs::PointCloud2>("topic/name", 10);

However, I directly fill the sensor_msgs::PointCloud2 datatype of ROS instead of using the PCL one.

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Asked: 2013-09-16 18:56:17 -0600

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Last updated: Jun 24 '15