[ros-users] using ROS with a new 7-DOF arm hardware

Melonee Wise mwise at willowgarage.com
Wed Jun 15 07:15:07 UTC 2011

I can fix that!... I'll tweak the google search to put in some special


On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 9:44 PM, Sachin Chitta <sachinc at willowgarage.com>wrote:

> HI Patrick,
> The fifth or sixth entry from a search for "generic kinematics" will throw
> up this: http://www.ros.org/wiki/arm_kinematics_constraint_aware which is
> a generic constraint aware kinematics package based on the arm_kinematics
> package (which itself uses the KDL solvers). Sorry, I don't really know how
> to get things to go higher in the search results - I think there's an option
> in the wiki to add keywords but I can't seem to find it right now.
> That page and the page for the arm_kinematics package should help out in
> creating your own kinematics node.
> Hope this helps.
> Best Regards,
> Sachin
> On Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 11:36 AM, Patrick Beeson <beeson.p at gmail.com>wrote:
>> I'm attempting to try and utilize novel, custom-made 7-DOF modular arm
>> hardware with ROS, and I'd like any help people are willing to provide
>> in starting from scratch with getting a new arm working in ROS.  I
>> have lots of familiarity with ROS, writing ROS drivers for perception
>> and navigation hardware, but, I'm not a manipulation or kinematics
>> expert, and I'm having difficulties understanding exactly what I do
>> and do not need to implement on my end to use the move_arm high level
>> package.
>> Having previously used the navigation stack, and other such stacks,  I
>> assumed that I would need some sort of driver that would subscribe to
>> some topic that would send joint positions or velocities based on
>> higher level kinematics planning given URDF models of the joints.
>> Instead, what I found was this tutorial:
>> http://www.ros.org/wiki/arm_navigation/Tutorials/Running%20arm%20navigation%20on%20non-PR2%20arm
>> ,
>> which seems to imply the need for writing my own kinematics plugin in
>> addition to my own joint trajectory execution node.  I can certainly
>> do this given some time; however, previous emails implied a
>> generic_kinematics package in unstable that would be useful, but after
>> searching through the Subversion repository, a generic_kinematics
>> package does not exist anywhere.
>> So, I'm going to start my creating a joint_trajectory_execution node
>> that has a a joint_trajectory_action interface and does soft-realtime
>> control of my joints behind the scenes.  What I need help determining
>> is if/where any generic kinematics packages exist or if I need to
>> write my own for my arm.  If I need to write my own, more details on
>> how to get this working with the other relevant modules would be
>> useful.  If a generic package exists, where is it?  How do I feed it
>> the model of my arm?  Also (tutorial step 5) there are lots of other
>> bits and pieces lying around that need to get tied together that
>> aren't well documented.  All in all, what I need is a better tutorial
>> that gives a much more simplified explanation as to what pieces are
>> needed, how they fit together (from move_arm down to hardware
>> interface), what parameters are definitely needed and which can be
>> ignored, etc.
>> Any help on this would be appreciated.  I'm sure I could figure all of
>> this out given enough time, but these days, time is not a great luxury
>> that I have, and part of the reason I use ROS is that it has been easy
>> to create, use, swap nodes, messages, topics with relative ease.  the
>> ARM documentation however is quite lacking and the large number of
>> motion planning, kinematics, controller, and action modules are not
>> well documented as to what is deprecated, how things fit together,
>> etc.
>> Thanks in advance,
>> Patrick
>> _______________________________________________
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> --
> Sachin Chitta
> Research Scientist
> Willow Garage
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> ros-users at code.ros.org
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Senior Engineer
Intern Program Director
Willow Garage
68 Willow Rd.
Menlo Park, Ca 94025
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