I'm trying to write a python node, which has one class and two member functions as callback functions. so a TimeSynchronizer and Subscriber in a node. I saw in this link and tested that python subscribers are event-driven model and are in separate threads. How to get a python node in ROS subscribe to multiple topics?

My question here is , are they thread safe when they are working on the same class member? e.g. self.a below. Do I need to write a lock? Where can I find more information about this? Thank you in advanced!!!!

class mr_listener(object):

def __init__(self):
    self.a =  [1,2,3,4,5]
    rospy.init_node('mr_listener', anonymous=True)
    scan_subscriber = message_filters.Subscriber('/scan',LaserScan)
    pose_subscriber = message_filters.Subscriber('/slam_out_pose', PoseStamped)
    ts = message_filters.ApproximateTimeSynchronizer([scan_subscriber,projected_scan_subscriber,pose_subscriber], 10, 0.1, allow_headerless=True)
    rospy.Subscriber("chatter", String, self.callback2)

def callback1(self,scan,pose):

def callback2(self,chatt):

1 Answer 1


For a particular topic, there is only one thread that all the subscribers share.

Each service callback does get its own thread because there can only be one service callback for a particular service.

Future versions of rospy will likely have a different, more versatile threading model for subscriptions.

rospy.spin() is a built-in asynchronous method in contrast with roscpp::spin() which is single thread (roscpp::AsyncSpinner() is async).

Callbacks in rospy in general is they're essentially handled sequentially during calls to Sleep and Spin, meaning they're implicitly threadsafe and I can modify the same data from multiple callbacks within a node without locks or other safeguards.

Unfortunately, no. Unlike roscpp, rospy creates a new thread for every Subscriber and Timer. In fact, rospy.spin() is just an infinite loop of half-second waits. As such, callbacks in rospy are not threadsafe. You should use locks in any rospy node where multiple callbacks of any kind might interact.


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