I am a beginner of ROS, Kinect and Ubuntu. What I want is to visualize Kinect's data on rviz environment then run object recognition on it.

I've tried a few tutorials but had no luck. All I got was an empty rviz world.

Since I am a beginner I would appreciate any step-by-step instructions (preferably for hydro or groovy).

I would also like to note that I've managed to get visual from Kinect so the device is working fine.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For ROS-related questions, its QA forum is the best place to ask question like this. $\endgroup$
    – IsaacS
    Dec 20, 2013 at 1:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @IsaacS While I appreciate that you are trying to help user2433 get his/her question answered, this sort of suggestion isn't terribly useful here and at best it should be a comment. It certainly shouldn't be an answer unless you can provide a link to a QA forum thread which already answers the question. Even then you should provide enough context such that link rot couldn't render the answer invalid. $\endgroup$
    – Mark Booth
    Jan 20, 2014 at 1:35
  • $\begingroup$ the problem is, Rviz works with a time vector besides the image stream that it is receiving. If you are just plugged the kinect to rviz it is normal that it doesn't show anything. $\endgroup$
    – NKN
    Apr 25, 2014 at 14:30

2 Answers 2


You can install the a package for kinect:

sudo apt-get install ros-hydro-openni-launch

Then to make the package publish kinect's topics:

roslaunch openni_launch openni.launch  

To visualize the depth image run:

rosrun image_view image_view image:=/camera/depth/image

To visualize for example the Point Cloud in rviz you can add a PointCloud2 Display ad choose the appropriate topic.


ROS Indigo Igloo will be coming out in a week or 2. Will be the first release in a year (they used to have 6 month release cycle, it has been a long wait). It moves at such a fast pace, so it may be worth waiting until it comes out so you don't have to set up your environment/re-learn new stuff again.

I would recommend you start with MoveIt, even if you already have Hydro or Groovy set up: http://moveit.ros.org/documentation/tutorials/

With this tutorial first: http://docs.ros.org/hydro/api/moveit_setup_assistant/html/doc/tutorial.html

Then move onto the integrating the Kinect: http://docs.ros.org/api/pr2_moveit_tutorials/html/planning/src/doc/perception_configuration.html


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