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ROS package visualization





I am working on a project which involves ROS. The student who worked on the project before me made a program which consists of +20 packages. Unfortunatley he did not document the program well. Now I'm stuck with just folders and files and no idea what he did.

Is there any tool available to visualize the structure and composition of the packages in ROS?

I would like to be able to see what nodes are inside a package, what they publish and subscribe to, and which launch files are connected to which packages and nodes.

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Feignedjesse2 Avatar asked Mar 13 '23 08:03


1 Answers

ROS has multiple visualization tools (rqt_graph, rviz etc.) however all require you to run the stuff you want to visualize.

In order to see how the packages are structured and related to each other you can start by looking at the ROS command line tools such as:

  • rospack - get info about a package
  • rosmsg - get info about messages
  • rossrv - get info about services
  • (not a tool) launch-files, package.xml, CMakeLists.txt etc. - these files (except the launch ones) are generated upon the creation of a package using catkin. You can see all the dependencies in there.

But first I would suggest starting with the tutorials to get a feeling about the general structure of ROS packages. Once you feel comfortable with terminology you can start using the command line tools and the other visualization tools with the project of your colleague.

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rbaleksandar Avatar answered Mar 15 '23 20:03