Featured Package: rosviz

We've tried to make ROS as open as possible, including being able to get access to data about which nodes you are running and dynamically inspecting the data flowing through topics. The rosviz package is home to a suite of tools we are developing to help you visualize this information to help debug your software system and understand your data better. One of the tools we just released with the latest ROS stable Subversion update is rxplot, which graphically plots any numerical data in a ROS topic over time. For example:

rxplot /numbers/num1

plots the num1 field in the /numbers topic. You can also plot multiple topics either together or separately. The documentation goes into greater detail on the various ways you can plot data together.


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The rosviz package also contains the rxgraph and rosgraph system visualization tools. rxgraph generates a graph like the one above, where ellipses represent nodes and boxes represent topics. This sort of presnentation lets you easily study how data flows through your ROS nodes as well as discover problematic connections. The rosgraph is a command-line alternative to rxgraph. Instead of displaying a visual graph, it prints connection information to your console.

rosviz only contains tools for visualization data about ROS. If you're interested in visualization tools more specific to robot applications, you may wish to checkout rviz, aka "Robot Visualizer," which is part of our Personal Robots repository.