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[Nav2] Navigation Action Feedback & Rviz2 Plugin!

Hi all, friendly neighborhood navigator here.

I wanted to bring to your attention a line of work in Nav2 that’s been happening this year between the Foxy and Galactic releases. These features will be fully available on the Galactic release on Day 1!

We’ve substantially improved the feedback available from the navigation action and how users can interact with it. That includes:

  • Estimated time of arrivals
  • Robot current position in global frame at ~100hz
  • Amount of time elapsed in current navigation task
  • Number of recovery behaviors executed in navigation task
  • Distance remaining to the goal integrating path distances for a good estimate of distance to travel left

Thanks to Deepak Talwar @deepaktalwardt and Sarathak Mittal @naivehobo for this great contribution!

Moreso, because we know many users in ROS1 were used to interacting with navigation through the topic interface, we made this feedback very visible to users from day 1 of use through the provided Nav2 rviz plugin, thanks to Sarthak Mittal:

118325874-bd55d800-b521-11eb-9177-42a43b61eeb3

118307698-ac4c9d00-b508-11eb-89ed-75cc42f82bc3

We believe providing this visual information for users will encourage better use of Nav2 by using the action interfaces and also utilizing the feedback information to make more intelligent autonomy systems!

If you would like to get involved with Nav2, feel free to PM me and I’d love to have you involved! It only takes a couple hours a week to really make a difference and we work with folks with any robotics background or software skills (there’s plenty of work to go around!).

Happy feedbacking,

Steve

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Is it possible to backport to Foxy or did this change the API somehow?

Much of this feedback is new to the API, so it is intrinsically un-backport-able :frowning:

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