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So far I have rosserial up and running. It's feeding Vector3's back to my main computer where Vector3.x = right encoder ticks and Vector3.y is left encoder ticks. I'm getting the data back on that topic and I can view it using "rostopic echo /wheel_encoder" it seems to be sending data back perfectly fine. Now I have created the node below to receive the data and translate the ticks into x,y translation and /odom data using the guide from the navigation stack. For some reason my /odom data is not changing at all. I'm assuming it has to do with the global variables I have and the callback function but I can't seem to track it down. Any insight would be helpful.

#include "ros/ros.h"
#include <geometry_msgs/Vector3.h>
#include <tf/transform_broadcaster.h>
#include <nav_msgs/Odometry.h>

long _PreviousLeftEncoderCounts = 0;
long _PreviousRightEncoderCounts = 0;
ros::Time current_time_encoder, last_time_encoder;
double DistancePerCount = (3.14159265 * 0.1524) / 64000;

double x;
double y;
double th;

double vx;
double vy;
double vth;
double deltaLeft;
double deltaRight;

void WheelCallback(const geometry_msgs::Vector3::ConstPtr& ticks)

  current_time_encoder = ros::Time::now();

  deltaLeft = ticks->x - _PreviousLeftEncoderCounts;
  deltaRight = ticks->y - _PreviousRightEncoderCounts;
  vx = deltaLeft * DistancePerCount; // (current_time_encoder - last_time_encoder).toSec();
  vy = deltaRight * DistancePerCount; // (current_time_encoder - last_time_encoder).toSec();

  _PreviousLeftEncoderCounts = ticks->x;
  _PreviousRightEncoderCounts = ticks->y;
  last_time_encoder = current_time_encoder;

int main(int argc, char **argv)
  ros::init(argc, argv, "odometry_publisher");
  ros::NodeHandle n;
  ros::Subscriber sub = n.subscribe("wheel_encoder", 100, WheelCallback);
  ros::Publisher odom_pub = n.advertise<nav_msgs::Odometry>("odom", 50);   
  tf::TransformBroadcaster odom_broadcaster;

  ros::Time current_time, last_time;
  current_time = ros::Time::now();
  last_time = ros::Time::now();

  ros::Rate r(1.0);

    current_time = ros::Time::now();

    //compute odometry in a typical way given the velocities of the robot
    double dt = (current_time - last_time).toSec();
    double delta_x = (vx * cos(th) - vy * sin(th)) * dt;
    double delta_y = (vx * sin(th) + vy * cos(th)) * dt;
    double delta_th = vth * dt;

    x += delta_x;
    y += delta_y;
    th += delta_th;

    //since all odometry is 6DOF we'll need a quaternion created from yaw
    geometry_msgs::Quaternion odom_quat = tf::createQuaternionMsgFromYaw(th);

    //first, we'll publish the transform over tf
    geometry_msgs::TransformStamped odom_trans;
    odom_trans.header.stamp = current_time;
    odom_trans.header.frame_id = "odom";
    odom_trans.child_frame_id = "base_link";

    odom_trans.transform.translation.x = x;
    odom_trans.transform.translation.y = y;
    odom_trans.transform.translation.z = 0.0;
    odom_trans.transform.rotation = odom_quat;

    //send the transform

    //next, we'll publish the odometry message over ROS
    nav_msgs::Odometry odom;
    odom.header.stamp = current_time;
    odom.header.frame_id = "odom";

    //set the position
    odom.pose.pose.position.x = x;
    odom.pose.pose.position.y = y;
    odom.pose.pose.position.z = 0.0;
    odom.pose.pose.orientation = odom_quat;

    //set the velocity
    odom.child_frame_id = "base_link";
    odom.twist.twist.linear.x = vx;
    odom.twist.twist.linear.y = vy;
    odom.twist.twist.angular.z = vth;

    //publish the message

    last_time = current_time;

Originally posted by D_mangus on ROS Answers with karma: 121 on 2011-11-16

Post score: 2

Original comments

Comment by metal on 2012-07-26:
Hello I am trying to do something similar,I am using US digital encoders and its giving out hexa decimal values. I would like to know what tick means in your post?. Is it just the change in value of the encoder or one complete cycle?

Comment by Cerin on 2016-12-11:
Your vth component is undefined.


1 Answer 1


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Your wheel callback is not going to be called because you are not letting ROS spin. See the roscpp overview for more details.

The simple solution is to add ros::SpinOnce(); before your r.sleep().

I also highly suggest that you review the roscpp tutorials which covers this sort of thing closely.

Originally posted by tfoote with karma: 58457 on 2011-11-16

This answer was ACCEPTED on the original site

Post score: 6


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