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I'm trying to use Moveit and Gazebo with a custom controller provided by my robot's manufacturer. When I launch both moveit(+ rviz) and gazebo and try to plan, I get the following error:

[ERROR] [1586291253.875844268, 5322.770000000]: Unable to identify any set of controllers that can actuate the specified joints: [ right_gripper_l_finger_joint right_j0 right_j1 right_j2 right_j3 right_j4 right_j5 right_j6 ]
[ERROR] [1586291253.875874497, 5322.770000000]: Known controllers and their joints:
controller '/robot/limb/right' controls joints:

Note, that this works when I disable the gripper, meaning that moveit doesn't know what to do with the right_gripper_l_finger_joint. However, I specify the contoller for this joint in my controller manager yaml file like so:

# ... 
  - name: /io/end_effector
    action_ns: right_gripper
    type: sawyer_sim_controllers/ElectricGripperController
    default: true
      - right_gripper_l_finger_joint

I've verified that the name and action namespace listed are correct:

>>># rostopic list | grep right_gripper

And if I inspect the running controllers with rosservice call /robot/controller_manager/list_controllers I see my controller running:

  - name: "electric_gripper_controller"
    state: "running"
    type: "sawyer_sim_controllers/ElectricGripperController"
      -  hardware_interface: "sawyer_hardware_interface::SharedJointInterface"
         resources: [right_gripper_l_finger_joint/MAIN_SETPOINT_COMMAND, right_gripper_r_finger_joint/MAIN_SETPOINT_COMMAND]

So, is there a piece here that I'm missing?


Somehow I missed this before, but when starting RViz and moveit, it logs the following error:

[ERROR] [1586294845.676943431, 116.035000000]: Unknown controller type: sawyer_sim_controllers/ElectricGripperController

Still not sure what causes this as my ros params seem to be set up correctly and the controller manager knows about this type.

Originally posted by rklutz on ROS Answers with karma: 17 on 2020-04-07

Post score: 0

Original comments

Comment by gvdhoorn on 2020-04-08:
You're last edit seems to point to a cause here. (I'm assuming) MoveIt doesn't appear to know that type of controller. That would cause it to fail loading that stanza, leading to no controllers for your right_gripper_l_finger_joint, leading to the error message you quoted earlier.

Comment by rklutz on 2020-04-08:
Right, I understand that moveit doesn't know about the controller, but given that it is a subclass of EffortJointInterface, it should still be able to work with it, right? Or is it a matter of somehow notifying moveit about it's existence?

Comment by gvdhoorn on 2020-04-08:
There's a difference between a MoveIt controller and a ros_control controller. You link to a package providing ros_control plugins/controllers/capabilities.

MoveIt doesn't do anything directly with ros_control controllers.

That may be the main issue here. If sawyer_sim_controllers/ElectricGripperController is actually a ros_control controller, you cannot just use it with MoveIt directly.

Comment by Dave Coleman on 2020-04-16:
I'm not sure if MoveIt or ros_control is giving you that "Unknown controller type", here's a trick for improving the verbosity of your terminal. Add to .bash.rc

export ROSCONSOLE_FORMAT='${logger}: ${message}'

More info: http://dav.ee/blog/notes/archives/898


1 Answer 1


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You're mixing up two types of controller yaml files: MoveIt and ros_control (confusing I know)


They both have a type field, and you just have yours mixed up. For the ElectricGripperController the type should be "GripperCommand". Your other configs in that yaml are wrong also.

Your MoveIt configuration by default uses the MoveItSimpleControllerManager. Its simple, so it only supports two types: "FollowJointTrajectory" and "GripperCommand"

I hope this helps!

Originally posted by Dave Coleman with karma: 1396 on 2020-04-16

This answer was ACCEPTED on the original site

Post score: 2

Original comments

Comment by rklutz on 2020-04-20:
Hey, thanks for looking into this. Since initially asking the question, I modified the parameters specified in my yaml files, but now I'm seeing the problem might be that there is no actionlib server running to handle the gripper commands. I see that moveit expects to find one at the topics found under the action_ns. In my case rethink provides a joint_trajectory_action_server.py script that provides this, but I can't find an equivalent to handle the gripper. The gazebo plugins for my robot do publish/subscribe to /io/end_effector/right_gripper/command, .../right_gripper/state. and .../right_gripper/config. The scripts they provide can use this interface, but I'm guessing Moveit cannot. Sounds like I'll have to write this myself?

Comment by Dave Coleman on 2020-04-22:
I'm not sure the specifics of the Sawyer Gazebo implementation. If they didn't include a gripper action server, that was certainly an oversight. Just give Rethink support a call ;-)

Comment by rklutz on 2020-04-22:
Haha, I've been on hold for an hour, almost like they went out of business or something...

Anyways, I went ahead and implemented the interface myself. Things seem to be working now. Thanks!


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