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I am working on a project in which users will create paths fully constrained in terms of position (using a separate piece of software), and a robot will periodically follow those paths. We are using a Turtlebot3 for this project, which comes with lots of support for path planning. However, because we already know exactly what paths we want the robot to follow, this functionality (and related ROS packages) is not very useful for us. I am wondering if there are already reliable ROS packages for following pre-defined paths, rather than path generation. Our paths will include: -Straight lines -Rotations around a point -Circles -Circular arcs

We can define the paths in terms of coordinates or geometric qualities (radius, distance, angle).

Turtlebot comes with a node for navigating to a given coordinate, which I’ve adapted to go to a series of coordinates, and is very useful for straight lines and rotations. However, it is not good for following circles, as its algorithm sends the robot to the specified coordinate then rotates to the specified angle. (turtlebot3_pointop_key in https://wiki.ros.org/turtlebot3_example)

I know it would not be very hard to create this functionality on my own (I’ve already written a few basic algorithms for circle and arc navigation) but I would prefer to use a package if one already exists. Or if someone knows a reliable way to add circle functionality to the pointop_key node. Also note that we would prefer to work in Python if possible. Thank you!

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  • $\begingroup$ did you have find any package? $\endgroup$
    – mo23
    Oct 6, 2019 at 17:32

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Have a look at asr_ftc_local_planner.

I have no experience with asr_ftc_local_planner, so here is a paragraph from its description:

"This package provides an implementation of the "Follow the Carrot" algorithm to local robot navigation on a flat plane. Given a global plan to follow and a costmap, the local planner produces velocity commands to send to a mobile base. The parameters for this planner are also dynamically reconfigurable. This package implements the asr_nav_core interface for a local planner."

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer but we are looking for comprehensive answers that provide some explanation and context. Very short answers cannot do this, so please edit your answer to explain why it is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed. $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Mar 6, 2020 at 0:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Ben I offered a link to a ROS package DBel is looking for. What else is there to add? $\endgroup$ Mar 6, 2020 at 4:32
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps you could share your experiences with this package. Is it easy to use, any gotchas, etc. Or you can take a stab at informing the OP how to convert their paths into something this package needs. Or you can muse about the trade-offs between writing your own code vs. an off-the-shelf package. Lastly, path following is a very common task in robotics. I'm sure this isn't the only ROS package for path following. What are the others? What are the differences between them? Why is this one better? $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Mar 11, 2020 at 0:38
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    $\begingroup$ I totally agree with @Ben, link-only answers are useless if the link is broken which is unfortunately common. You may quote the description of the package from ROS website and the package's name so people can easily search it. $\endgroup$
    – CroCo
    Nov 25, 2021 at 21:11
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    $\begingroup$ @CroCo Good point about broken links. Not very likely on ROS wiki in the near future, but I added more info nevertheless. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2021 at 22:28

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