ROS Resources: Documentation | Support | Discussion Forum | Service Status | Q&A

JogArm -> Servo migration guide

MoveIt Servo migration guide

The ros package moveit_jog_arm is now named moveit_servo. If you were previously using moveit_jog_arm you will need to do a find/replace for these phrases in your code base:

  • jog_arm -> servo
  • JogArm -> Servo
  • jog_server -> servo_server

C++ API Changes

The api for moveit_servo has also recently changed. The short of it is you now use it through ros instead of with method calls. Internally it is now using ros timers instead of threads. This means that you’ll need to be using ros::AsyncSpinner with multiple threads. We recommend you use at least 4 threads.


When servo is constructed it loads parameters from rosparam. These parameters are loaded into a struct
and after servo is constructed you can access that struct using the Servo::getParameters() method.

Starting / Stopping

Before you had to provide a thread to start. Now you just call the method Servo::start(). To stop you call the method Servo::stop(). This starts/stops ros timers.

Sending Commands

Instead of calling methods on the servo object you send commands to it through a ros publisher. To do that you need to setup the publisher for the type of message you are sending and the topic. The topic that moveit_servo listens to is set in the parameters. Here is how you would connect to the twist stamped command topic:

twist_stamped_pub_ =
      nh_.advertise<geometry_msgs::TwistStamped>(servo_->getParameters().cartesian_command_in_topic, 1);

Using zero-copy message passing and memory pool allocation (Optional)

To take advantage of zero copy message passing and memory pool allocations there is a new method in jog arm you can use to allocate each message you send. To use it you’ll need to include moveit_servo/make_shared_from_pool.h.

auto msg = moveit::util::make_shared_from_pool<geometry_msgs::TwistStamped>();

Change drift dimensions

This is now a service and the way you ineteract with it is through ros:

change_drift_dimensions_client_ = nh_.serviceClient<moveit_msgs::ChangeDriftDimensions>(
      nh_.getNamespace() + "/" + ros::this_node::getName() + "/change_drift_dimensions");

moveit_msgs::ChangeDriftDimensions srv;
srv.request = drift_dimensions;
if (!
  ROS_ERROR_STREAM_NAMED(LOGNAME, "Failed call to service change_drift_dimensions");
  return false;

Interesting to see the fast_pool_allocator. Did this pop up in the code as a result of some profiling/testing, or is it just “let’s hope it helps”? I wonder if this could be used much more throughout ROS code, especially when allocating large objects like pointclouds.

Some profiling was done but not specifically for the pool allocator.

The pool allocation came abount because I wanted to use the zero-copy message passing features but I didn’t want my inner loops calling malloc often. I haven’t specifically profiled with it other than using a library to log when malloc was being called so I could see this did what I expected.

Here is the discussion I had on ros answers about this:

Looks like you already found that as you commented there. Profiling of this would be welcome.

Thanks for this great write-up @tylerweaver