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Registering pointclouds in ROS with PCL for Robot_Lab_(Spring_2012)

find some data

The data I used is dataset 14 at

My python script,, can be easily adjusted to read any similar format, wherein each line gives the coordinates for a point. PLY is another option; PLY pointclouds can be loaded and viewed in Meshlab.

I didn't write any code to read pcl files, but this is the format that the pointcloud library reads and writes, so if you found some pcl data and like c++ that would also work.

pointcloud registration

$ rosmake register_pointclouds $ roscore $ rosrun register_pointclouds register $


  • can rosparams be set in a config file somewhere and auto-loaded?
  • it seems the /map frame in rviz is different from the /map topic? because rviz can't find the /map frame even when the /map topic is being published.

rviz view controls

  • regular click: rotate the view
  • shift-click: move the view or focal point
  • host click / scroll: zoom

create a map from log data and watch it on rviz

$ roscore
$ rosparam set use_sim_time true
$ rosrun rviz rviz
# make sure map is checked and subscribed to topic /map
$ rosrun gmapping slam_gmapping scan:=base_scan
$ rosbag play ~/ros/gmap_tester.bag
$ rosrun map_server map_saver


  • gmapping:
    • /base_scan
    • /clock
    • /map
    • /map_metadata
    • /slam_gmapping/entropy
    • /tf


mapping from point clouds