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1. Prerequisites

(1) Install a ubuntu PC. We suggested Ubuntu 14.04 or Ubuntu 16.04. Please do not use virtual machine. (2) Install ros full-desktop version. We tried Indigo and Kinect. (3) Please also install libpcap-dev.

2. Install

(1). Copy the whole rslidar ROS driver directory into ROS workspace, i.e “~/catkin_ws/src”.

(2). Check the file attributes:

cd ~/catkin_ws/src/ros_rslidar/rslidar_drvier
chmod 777 cfg/*
cd ~/catkin_ws/src/ros_rslidar/rslidar_pointcloud
chmod 777 cfg/*

(3). Then to compile the source code and to install it:

cd ~/catkin_ws

3. Configure PC IP

By default, the RSLIDAR is configured to as its device IP and as PC IP that it would communicate. The default MSOP port is 6699 while DIFOP port is 7788. So you need configure your PC IP as a static one

4. Run as independent node

We have provide example launch files under rslidar_pointcloud/launch, we can run the launch file to view the point cloud data. For example, if we want to view RS-LiDAR-16 real time data: (1). Open a new terminal and run:

cd ~/catkin_ws
source devel/setup.bash
roslaunch rslidar_pointcloud rs_lidar_16.launch

(2). Open a new terminal and run:


Set the Fixed Frame to “rslidar”. Add a Pointcloud2 type and set the topic to “rslidar_points”.

5. Run as nodelet

We can also run the driver node and cloud node as a nodelet. Open a new terminal and run:

cd ~/catkin_ws
source devel/setup.bash
roslaunch rslidar_pointcloud cloud_nodelet_16.launch
# or
roslaunch rslidar_pointcloud cloud_nodelet_32.launch

Then we can run view the pointcloud via “rviz”

6. About the lidar calibration parameters

Under “rslidar_pointcloud/data” directory, you can find the lidar calibration parameters files for the exact sensor. By default the launch file “rs_lidar_16.launch” load the three files:

  • rslidar_pointcloud/data/rs_lidar_16/angle.csv
  • rslidar_pointcloud/data/rs_lidar_16/ChannelNum.csv
  • rslidar_pointcloud/data/rs_lidar_16/curves.csv.

If you have more than one RSLIDAR, you can create new sub-directories under the “rslidar_pointcloud/data/”, and put the data files into it.Then you need rewrite the launch file to start you lidar. We have put an example launch file “two_lidar.launch” to load two lidars together for reference.

Begin from 2018.09.01 In the launch file, we could set the MSOP port and DIFOP port. MSOP port is used for receive the main point cloud data, while DIFOP port is used for receive the device information data. If we set the right DIFOP port, we will get the lidar calibration parameters from the DIFOP packets not from the files, so can ignore the local lidar calibration files. About how to check the DIFOP port, please reference the Appendix G in RS-LiDARR manual.