[ros-users] ROS on AUVs

Joel Cartwright J.J.Cartwright at hw.ac.uk
Mon Nov 29 19:41:27 UTC 2010

Hi Hordur,

We've added ROS messaging to some of our modules at the Ocean Systems 
Lab here at Heriot-Watt. As Ken mentioned, we have a (slightly old) 
public repository of some of our code at:


For those modules, I kept backwards compatibility with the lab's 
proprietary protocol; with conditional compilation, which was a quick 
solution, but could be improved upon.

For the time being, we've mainly used UDP based ROS publish-subscribe 
messaging as a replacement for our existing UDP protocol, and 
experimented with image transport with nodelets. Note that the default 
ROS transport is TCP (lossless). I've had some experience of 
implementing ROS services, and found that to be very straightforward, 
but have yet to try actionlib. We plan to look into that in the near future.

My general experience of using ROS on AUVs has been very positive - it's 
very useful to be able to leverage third party tools. I was just on a 
water trial trial last week, and found rxbag and rviz particularly 
helpful for replaying and visualising AUV navigation logs downloaded 
over WiFi whilst still on the boat.

There may be ROS messages and algorithms for point clouds and laser 
scans that can be applied in some way to AUV sonar sensors, but we 
haven't investigated that yet. One other thing to note - the ROS 
coordinate xyz coordinate system is 'forward, left, up', as opposed to 
the AUV standard 'forward, right, down'. They're both right handed 
coordinate systems, though, so it's a simple conversion - our code for 
this is at the bottom of:


Best regards,


Hörður Jóhannsson wrote, On 24/11/10 14:52:
> Hi everyone
> I'm interested to know if anyone has used ROS on AUVs. If so what has
> been your experience? Have you released or found any useful packages?
> Thanks,
> Hordur
> _______________________________________________
> ros-users mailing list
> ros-users at code.ros.org
> https://code.ros.org/mailman/listinfo/ros-users

Research Assistant
Ocean Systems Laboratory
Heriot-Watt University, UK

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