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I am using the Kinect sensor with the openni driver and the Roboearth software for object modeling and detection. While going through all the tutorials and setting this up, I found out that there are two (maybe more?) ways to call openni_launch. Each version seems to publish the same information but have different topics.

The openni wiki (http://www.ros.org/wiki/openni_launch) launches openni using: roslaunch openni_launch openni.launch. Amongst many others, this version publishes a topic /camera/depth_registered. Also, the fixed frame for rviz is set to /camera_depth_optical_frame (im guessing we could also set it to /camera_rgb_optical_frame). This version also does not publish a topic /camera/rgb/points.

In the roboearth tutorail (http://www.ros.org/wiki/roboearth/Tutorials/Record%20an%20object%20model) we launch openni using roslaunch openni_camera openni_node.launch. As mentioned this provides the same information but publishes slightly different topics. In particular, using this method we have to set rviz fixed frame to /opnni_rgb_optical_frame. Also, this publishes a topic called /camera/rgb/points which is used by the software.

My question, what is the difference (if any) between these two ways of launch the openni driver? Is one version better than another? Does it matter?

Currently, I am using the 2nd version to launch the driver as it publishes to topics that are subscribed by the roboearth software. I am using ros_electric on Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit.


Originally posted by Sudarshan on ROS Answers with karma: 113 on 2011-11-02

Post score: 3


1 Answer 1


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Hi there,

the difference is that the openni_launch driver works with alot of small nodelets and the openni_camera driver with a couple of nodes. You can see the difference when you using the rxgraph tool.

It seems that the openni_launch driver causes less network traffic but it seems that the driver is not compatible with some other packages. For example the ARtoolkit. (ar_bounding_box doesnt start for me)

regards ronny

Originally posted by dinamex with karma: 447 on 2011-11-14

This answer was ACCEPTED on the original site

Post score: 0

Original comments

Comment by Sudarshan on 2011-11-14:
So openni_launch and openni_camera are two different drivers for the kinect? It was my understanding that openni_launch is just a launch file that launches the nodes required to get data from the Kinect.

Comment by tfoote on 2012-03-06:
They are two different ways to use the openni driver.


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