[ros-users] topic vs tf

Thibault Kruse kruset at in.tum.de
Sat Dec 10 14:21:37 UTC 2011

Would you like to add that on answers.ros.org?
If not, I can add it.

On 12/10/2011 01:50 PM, Stefan Kohlbrecher wrote:
> Hi,
> if you for example just want to monitor the estimated position of an
> autonomous robot, using tf can mean significant overhead. Tf can
> easily consume bandwidth in the order of hundreds of kb/s, which can
> choke up connections in constrained scenarios (like RoboCup, where you
> have thousands of people/hundreds of teams/1-2 dozen leagues competing
> for Wi-Fi). An optional lower update rate tf topic for displaying the
> robot model in rviz for example would make sense for such situations.
> regards,
> Stefan
> 2011/12/9 Thibault Kruse<kruset at in.tum.de>:
>> Hi,
>> I am keen on reading an answer to this answers.ros.org question:
>> http://answers.ros.org/question/2803/when-should-i-send-geometric-information-over-a
>> "When should I send geometric information over a topic as opposed to TF?"
>> I would think that TF is the best place to publish frames, meaning
>> coordinate
>> systems to be used as a point of reference for other geometric data.
>> So this would be ideal for robot joints/links, sensor coordinate systems,
>> and perceived joints/links of other agents (humans or robots).
>> If possible, all those should rather be published in TF rather than anything
>> else, I would believe.
>> However I do not yet understand whether there is a downside to using TF, or
>> some kind of degradation when plenty of frames are being published.
>> The only thing I can think of is that rosbag and rxbag cannot treat
>> individual
>> transforms, they can only record / replay the whole tf tree.
>> Also I guess that data with a lot of noise is not suitable as a reference
>> frame
>> for anything, so there is no point in publishing that in TF.
>> Other thoughts?
>> cheers,
>>   Thibault
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