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2014-07-29 09:40:04 -0500 commented answer How do I visualize the URDF models of the NXT robots?

I'll look into it! I never submitted something to the github issues, so I'll have to read up on how to do that in a correct way.

2014-07-29 03:07:03 -0500 answered a question How do I visualize the URDF models of the NXT robots?

Another hint especially for Germans or other nationalities with weird letters like ä, ö, ü who came here like me, looking for an answer why their joint_state_publisher dies: If your joint_state_publisher dies in a smiliar way like this:

UnicodeEncodeError: 'ascii' codec can't encode character u'\xf6' in position 59: ordinal not in range(128)

then there might be a problem that you used those Umlaute in your URDF-File. I had the this problem and it took me a while to find it, because check_urdf does not care about those letters and parses just fine, but the joint_state_publisher can't handle our fancy letters.

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2014-07-25 06:43:14 -0500 commented answer How do I display my own URDF in rviz?

So, how do I craft a launch file then? Just create a new folder "launch" in the install folder and create a file "display.launch" with the same content as the one from my original Post? Or is there an easier, more streamlined way? By the way, changing the fixed frame got rid of my white-box Problem

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2014-07-25 05:01:42 -0500 asked a question How do I display my own URDF in rviz?


This might be a dumb question, but how do I view my own URDF File in rviz?

My approach so far:

  1. Create a new catkin package named "myrobot_description" with dependencies on the urdf package
  2. Create a folder urdf in the folder myrobot_description/urdf
  3. Create a valid URDF-File (as far as check_urdf is concerned)
  4. Build the package with catkin_make install
  5. Source the package by invoking source setup.bash in the install folder
  6. Copy the launch files and folder from the urdf_tutorial folder to the install/share/myrobot_description folder (this doesn't feel right.)
  7. Copy the URDF folder from the src/myrobot_description/ folder to the install/share/myrobot_description folder (wtf, this doesn't feel right AT ALL)

  8. Edit the display.launch file like this:

    <arg name="gui" default="False" />
    <param name="robot_description" textfile="/home/viki/catkin_ws/install/share/myrobot_description/urdf/myrobot.urdf" />
    <param name="use_gui" value="$(arg gui)"/>
    <node name="joint_state_publisher" pkg="joint_state_publisher" type="joint_state_publisher" />
    <node name="robot_state_publisher" pkg="robot_state_publisher" type="state_publisher" />
    <node name="rviz" pkg="rviz" type="rviz" args="/home/viki/catkin_ws/install/share/myrobot_description/myrobot.rviz" required="true" />


  9. Launch rviz via roslaunch myrobot_description display.launch

  10. End up with a white block in rviz and Errors concerning a missing base frame

Now, as you can see, I just play around helpless and do not understand the whole process - but I do not find any ressources on how to craft a correct launch file or on "registering" my package or using rviz or which directory I should use for building URDF models etc.

I appreciate any help and pointers in any direction.

Thanks. :)

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2014-07-14 09:53:50 -0500 asked a question Spline to path to movement?


I have a wheeled robot which can move in all directions (four wheels with two motors each, one for the angle of the wheel, and one for driving the wheel.).

Because of some safety concerns I'd like to specify a static maneuver for driving back to the charging station. The idea is to pass a given path to the move_base node. From what I understand so far I have to pass the move_base node a goal in the form of a message called geometry_message/PoseStamped.

The problem is: I don't know how to create those messages correctly and in a swift and easy way. Is there a GUI Tool where I can draw a path that is then converted into poses?