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quaternion from IMU interpreted incorrectly by ROS

asked 2011-04-06 00:49:21 -0500

updated 2011-11-04 04:17:12 -0500

joq gravatar image

I have a new CH Robotics UM6 IMU that outputs Quaternion which the datasheet labels as [a,b,c,d]. When I pass the Quaternion to ROS the X and Z axes are swapped, also pointing the IMU UP points the quat DOWN in rviz. I thought Quaternions didn't have "handedness"?

Here is a video of the behavior.

Anyhow, how do I swap axes without converting to Euler angles and introducing singularities?

From the datasheet:

All UM6 angle measurements are made with respect to a North-East-Down (NED) inertial frame. The inertial frame x-axis is aligned with magnetic north, the y-axis is aligned with magnetic east, and the z-axis points down toward the center of the Earth. The "pitch" angle represents positive rotation about the x-axis, "roll" represents positive rotation about the y-axis, and "yaw" represents positive rotation about the z-axis.rotation about the z-axis.

PS I'm using python so numpy code would be great!

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answered 2011-04-06 02:57:53 -0500

joq gravatar image

Your sensor is reporting data using the North-East-Down (NED) convention commonly used by aircraft. ROS messages assume the East-North-Up (ENU) coordinates more often used with ground robots. This should really be documented in REP 103, but is not explicitly mentioned. For a (long) discussion of ROS navigation satellite conventions, see the sensor_msgs GPS API review.

Multiplying by a constant quaternion should rotate your data from one frame to the other, but I don't have a good enough intuitive feel for quaternions to give you the exact multiplier. A little experimentation should suffice. Basically, you need to rotate Pi radians about the x-axis followed by -Pi/2 radians about the z-axis.

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so it turns out it's a data misinterpretation problem! The UM6 outputs [abcd] which is actually [wxyz], so I had w and z swapped when passing the quat to ROS (I had assumed the scalar was at the end). So my solution is just w=a,x=b,y=c,z=-d (up/down swap)
JeffRousseau gravatar imageJeffRousseau ( 2011-04-07 01:57:53 -0500 )edit
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Also, if needed it turns out transformations.py has some nice functions that rotate quats: q_orig = data_imu; qx = quaternion_about_axis(math.pi, (1,0,0)); qy = quaternion_about_axis(math.pi/2, (0,1,0)); q_tmp = quaternion_multiply(q_orig, qy); q_rot = quaternion_multiply(q_tmp, qx)
JeffRousseau gravatar imageJeffRousseau ( 2011-04-07 02:46:39 -0500 )edit
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answered 2011-04-06 07:48:10 -0500

dornhege gravatar image

Not sure if this is absolutely correct, but a quaternion just encodes rotation around an axis.

So you could just correcly swap axes, when filling the quaternion, e.g. when you have xyzw from your IMU fill the ros quaternion with: y, x, -z, w (might be wrong like this)

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yes, this does work. thanks
JeffRousseau gravatar imageJeffRousseau ( 2011-04-11 03:00:33 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2011-04-06 00:49:21 -0500

Seen: 4,220 times

Last updated: Apr 06 '11