[ros-users] Announcing rosdashboard

Felix Kaser kaserf at in.tum.de
Wed Jul 18 04:42:04 UTC 2012

Dear ROS community,

my name is Felix Kaser and I'm currently working on my master thesis at
the robotics lab of Auckland University in New Zealand. The thesis
concludes the Software Engineering master program I am currently part of
at TU Munich, University of Augsburg and LMU Munich. My supervisors are
Prof. Bruce MacDonald in Auckland and Prof. Reif in Augsburg.

During the last months I was trying to figure out how robot developers
are debugging their software and how to improve the way they are doing
so. After exploring some low level concepts like tracepoints I decided
for various reasons that a higher level approach is more suitable for my
master thesis. Coming from an Android development background I use
Androids logging framework a lot to debug Android apps. ROS has a
logging framework as well which can be used to log and debug algorithms.
What I dislike about current logging approaches is the text-only
representation of data. Staring at numbers scrolling down in a console
is not really the easiest way to find bugs.

I've developed a graphical tool which can be used to visualize basic
data (string, float, integer) in a graphical way. It is extremely easy
to set up and to configure to display data from an existing topic or one
of the debugging specific topics. To publish data to a topic in an easy
way I've created an API which wraps the publishing logic into single calls.

You can find the code here: https://github.com/kaserf/rosdashboard
I've started writing a documentation in form of a wiki on github as
well: https://github.com/kaserf/rosdashboard/wiki

I would love to get as much feedback as possible, in order to improve
the tool and contribute to the ROS community.

Best regards,
Felix Kaser

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