NatNet 4 ROS driver
This package contains a ROS driver for the NatNet protocol used by the OptiTrack motion capture system. It supports NatNet versions 4.0 (Motive 2.2 and higher). The NatNet SDK provided by the optitrack can be found here. It is already included in the package under
deps/. NatNet protocol is used for streaming live motion capture data (rigid bodies, skeletons etc) across the shared network.
This package is only tested with the Natnet 4.0 and ROS noetic but probably will work with the older versions of both as well.
- Stable and with more functionality than mocap_optitrack
- Rigid bodies are published as
geometry_msgs/PoseStampedunder name given in the Motive, i.e
/natnet_ros/<body-name>/pose. Plus those are also broadcasting as
tfframe for rviz
- Markers of the rigid bodies are published ad
geometry_msgs/PointStampedunuder the name
- Unlabeled markers with the initial position and the name mentione in the
/config/initiate.yamlare published as
geometry_msgs/PoseStampedunuder the name
/natnet_ros/<name-in-config-file>/pose. Plus those are also broadcasting as
tfframe for rviz. The marker position is updated based on Iterative closest point (nearest neighbour)
- Unlabled markers can be also published as
- Different options for publishing and logging the data
Work under progress:
- Include Skeleton and other devices in the system to make it package as whole.
- Considering position and orientation for similar marker configurations (at least 3 markers)
- Considering compensation of time delay (~5-6ms) to the ROS time stamp.
- Adding an option for the axis orientation (Z UP or Y UP)
- Creating package for ROS2.
- Implement CI-CD and Issue templete.
How to use it
Building the package
cd ~/catkin_ws/src git clone https://github.com/aarsht7/natnet_ros_cpp cd .. catkin_build #OR catkin_make . devel/setup.bash roslaunch natnet_ros_cpp natnet_ros.launch
Setup the Motive for this package
- Disable the firewall for the network on which the data is being published.
- Open the Motive app.
- In the motive app, open the streaming panel.
- Disable the other streaming Engines like VRPN, Trackd etc.
- Under the OptiTrack Streaming Engine, turn on the Broadcast Frame.
- Select the correct IP address in the Local Interface.
- Select the Up Axis as Z.
Here is an example of how your streaming settings should look.
Understanding the launch file
natnet_ros.launch contains the several configurable arguments. The details are mentioned in the launch file. Following are several important argument for the connection and the data transfer. Other connection arguments are for the advanced option.
serverIP: The IP address of the host PC. (The one selected in the Local Interface in Motive app)
clientIP: The IP address of the PC on which the file will be launched
serverType: Two possible options,
Publishing the single marker
It is possible to track the single marker as a rigid body with constant orientation. Go to the
config/initiate.yaml It is suggested to make a copy of the file and rename the new file.
The file contains the details on what to modify.
The question might arise on how to check the position of the single marker. For that, you can log the frames of the incoming data in the terminal. To do so, enable the
log_frames in the launch file.
After configuring the
initiate.yaml, in the launch file, enable the
pub_individual_marker. Change the name of the config file in the argument
conf_file if needed and launch the file.
Replacing existing package
You can easily replace the current package with this package. In the
natnet_ros.launch change the name of node to the node you currently using. For an example,
If you are using the
changes are following
<node pkg="natnet_ros_cpp" type="natnet_ros_cpp" name="vrpn_client_node" output="screen" >
If you use this software, please cite it from CITATION.cff