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New depth sensor, Orbbec Astra, call for testing


As many of you are aware the Microsoft Kinect, and Asus Xtion are now out of production and are getting harder to obtain. As such we need to find a new depth sensor to use for the TurtleBot.

Thanks to the work of several of the TurtleBot distributors as well as support from Orbbec I’m happy to announce that we have initial versions of ROS drivers for the Astra available as debian packages.

Call for testing

If you have an astra please take some time to try out the new packages. They are definitely still under development but should be a drop in replacement for the openni_camera.

There are packages currently in ros-shadow-fixed for both indigo and kinetic. The package name is astra_camera, and there’s an astra_launch package as well.

To get things working you may need to install udev rules

I made the latest release from my fork, but I’ve submitted it back upstream to orbbec at: If you have issues please file tickets there.

If you’d like to try out the TurtleBot with an Astra there’s an astra_support branch of the turtlebot repository which has added astra as a possible TURTLEBOT_3D_SENSOR


Does anyone have a short rosbag from the Astra, just to get an impression of the quality?

Sorry for the slightly off-topic comment. We might buy an Astra though, which would give you one more beta tester!

+1, would love to get feedback from actual users.

We’re also purchasing one so hopefully we can contribute as well. Thanks for the driver @tfoote!

Thanks for the driver @tfoote !

I gave it a try but there is a lot of noise on the depth measurement,
compared to the openni2_camera driver.
comparison videos:

what is the best way of sharing the bag files with you?



here are the bag files taken with the openni2_camera and astra_camera drivers… enjoy.

note: we are using the model ASTRA S



I see three versions, the “Astra”, “Astra S” and the “Astra Pro”. They are even all the same price.

Can you be specific about which version you are targetting or will work best with the TurtleBot?

We are looking at the Astra for the TurtleBot. It’s spec is closest to the current default sensor - the Asus Xtion Pro Live.

Right now the Astra Pro’s high-res image stream is not available through OpenNI and hence not available for ROS with the current wrapper.

The Astra S could be used as well. Personally, I don’t see the few centimetres you get extra at close range worth for what you lose in range.


+1 Same problem as Procopio here. Heavy noise is around the borders.

Also rviz crashes when trying to view any image stream.


I tried the ROS driver with the Astra S (the short range model) and it was unusably noisy. The best way I can describe the point cloud is “blizzard in a glass pyramid”. As a sanity check, I tried using the standard SDK on my mac, and it was fine (although the data was definitely not nearly as good as a short range carmine). Has anyone had success with the Astra S and the ROS driver?

I wasn’t able to test their SDK on linux because the link to download that from their developer page goes to a 404 for a Dropbox file. Sketchy…

I believe you can get their modified OpenNI2 version from Github:

Thanks @bit-pirate, I’ll try that out.

I made an issue for the weird noise ad the edges of objects:

1 Like

For anyone interested, here are the openni drivers provided by orbbec:

There’s apparently an unreleased filter applied to the prebuilt binaries:

I’ve opened a ticket at:

1 Like

In case you haven’t seen we’ve successfully run the TurtleBot demo applications using the Astra on the TurtleBot.

Thanks for the Astra driver Tully. We have made some tests and despite the noise, it works well with the Turtlebot.

Hi folks, sorry if this is not the proper place to post.

I am having some disturbing issues with the Astra sensor. It seems that
after a couple of hours of usage, the pointcloud published starts to get
distorted, as if the camera is changing its roll. You can find more details

Did you have any similar issues when testing it with turtlebot??
Any ideas on how to address this issue?

Thank you,

Your question on the Orbbec forums is likely the right place to ask. I have not observed it but our demos are not especially sensitive to small roll angles to we might not have noticed.

Hi everyone,

I am a new user of turtlebot2. I got a problem on setting up the Astra sensor.

First, I failed to set up the video stream in this tutorials . The error is “uvc_get_stream_ctrl_format_size: Invalid mode (-51)”. Is there anyone got this problem, and could you please let me know how to solve it?

Second, when I cakin_make astra_camera, there is a error “/usr/bin/ld: cannot find -lOpenNI2Orbbec”. Can you please let me know how to fix it?

Thank you very much!