2.1.4. ROS 2 System Handle

The ROS 2 System Handle can be used for two main purposes:

  • Connection between a ROS 2 application and an application running over a different middleware implementation. This is the classic use-case for Integration Service.

  • Connecting two ROS 2 applications running under different Domain IDs. Dependencies

The only dependency of this System Handle is to have a ROS 2 installation (Foxy or superior) in your system. Configuration

Regarding the ROS 2 System Handle, there are several specific parameters which can be configured for the ROS 2 middleware. All of these parameters are optional, and are suboptions of the main five sections:

  • systems: The system type must be ros2. In addition to the type and types-from fields, the ROS 2 System Handle accepts the following specific configuration fields:

        type: ros2
        namespace: "/"
        node_name: "my_ros2_node"
        domain: 4
    • namespace: The namespace of the ROS 2 node created by the ROS 2 System Handle.

    • node_name: The ROS 2 System Handle node name.

    • domain: Provides with an easy way to change the Domain ID of the ROS 2 entities created by the ROS 2 System Handle.

  • topics: The topic route must contain ros2 within its from or to fields. Additionally, the ROS 2 System Handle accepts the following topic specific configuration parameters, within the ros2 specific middleware configuration tag:

      ros2_to_ros1: { from: ros2, to: ros1 }
        type: std_msgs/String
        route: ros2_to_ros1
        ros2: { qos: {
            deadline: { sec: 1, nanosec: 10},
            durability: VOLATILE,
            history: { kind: KEEP_LAST, depth: 10 },
            lifespan: { sec: 2, nanosec: 20 },
            liveliness: { kind: AUTOMATIC, sec: 2, nanosec: 0 },
            reliability: RELIABLE
    • qos: The Quality of Service policies that are going to be applied to the ROS 2 entity involved in the pub-sub operation (in this case the publisher). This parameter accepts any of the QoS available for ROS 2:

      • deadline: This QoS policy raises an alarm when the frequency of new samples falls below a certain threshold, which can be defined by means of the sec and nanosec tags. On the publishing side, the deadline defines the maximum period in which the application is expected to supply a new sample. On the subscribing side, it defines the maximum period in which new samples should be received.

      • durability: A Publisher can send messages throughout a Topic even if there are no Subscribers on the network. This QoS defines how the system will behave regarding those samples that existed on the Topic before the Subscriber joins. There are two possible values: VOLATILE and TRANSIENT_LOCAL.

      • history: This QoS controls the behavior of the system when the value of an instance changes one or more times before it can be successfully communicated to the existing Subscriber entities.

        • kind: Controls if the service should deliver only the most recent values, all the intermediate values or do something in between. There are two possible values: KEEP_LAST and KEEP_ALL.

        • depth: Establishes the maximum number of samples that must be kept on the history. It only has effect if the kind is set to KEEP_LAST.

      • lifespan: Each data sample written by a Publisher has an associated expiration time beyond which the data is removed from the Publisher and Subscriber history. That expiration time can be defined by means of the sec and nanosec tags.

      • liveliness: This QoS controls the mechanism used by the service to ensure that a particular entity on the network is still alive.

        • kind: Establishes if the service needs to assert the liveliness automatically or if it needs to wait until the liveliness is asserted by the publishing side. There are two possible values: AUTOMATIC and MANUAL_BY_TOPIC.

        • lease_duration: Amount of time to wait since the last time the Publisher asserts its liveliness to consider that it is no longer alive. It can be defined by means of the sec and nanosec tags.

      • reliability: This QoS indicates the level of reliability offered and requested by the service. There are two possible values: RELIABLE and BEST_EFFORT. Examples

There are several examples that you can find in this documentation in which the ROS 2 System Handle is employed in the communication process. Some of them are presented here: Compilation flags

Besides the Global compilation flags available for the whole Integration Service product suite, there are some specific flags which apply only to the ROS 2 System Handle; they are listed below:

  • BUILD_ROS2_TESTS: Allows to specifically compile the ROS 2 System Handle unitary and integration tests. It is useful to avoid compiling each System Handle’section test suite present in the colcon workspace, which is what would happen if using the BUILD_TESTS flag, with the objective of minimizing building time. To use it, after making sure that the ROS 2 System Handle is present in your colcon workspace, execute the following command:

    ~/is_ws$ colcon build --cmake-args -DBUILD_ROS2_TESTS=ON
  • IS_ROS2_DISTRO: This flag is intended to select the ROS 2 distro that should be used to compile the ROS 2 System Handle. If not set, the version will be retrieved from the last ROS distro sourced in the compilation environment; this means that if the last ROS environment sourced corresponds to ROS 1, the compilation process will stop and warn the user about it.

  • MIX_ROS_PACKAGES: It accepts as an argument a list of ROS packages, such as std_msgs, geometry_msgs, sensor_msgs, nav_msgs… for which the required transformation library to convert the specific ROS 2 type definitions into xTypes, and the other way around, will be built. This list is shared with the ROS 1 System Handle, meaning that the ROS packages specified in the MIX_ROS_PACKAGES variable will also be built for ROS 1 if the corresponding System Handle is present within the Integration Service workspace. To avoid possible errors, if a certain package is only present in ROS 2, the MIX_ROS2_PACKAGES flag must be used instead.

    These transformation libraries are also known within the Integration Service context as Middleware Interface Extension or mix libraries.

    By default, only the std_msgs_mix library is compiled, unless the BUILD_TESTS or BUILD_ROS2_TESTS is used, case in which some additional ROS 2 packages mix files required for testing will be built.

    If the user wants to compile some additional packages to use them with Integration Service, the following command must be launched to compile it, adding as much packages to the list as desired:

    ~/is_ws$ colcon build --cmake-args -DMIX_ROS_PACKAGES="std_msgs geometry_msgs sensor_msgs nav_msgs"
  • MIX_ROS2_PACKAGES: It is used just as the MIX_ROS_PACKAGES flag, but will only affect ROS 2; this means that the mix generation engine will not search within the ROS 1 packages, allowing to compile specific ROS 2 packages independently.

    For example, if a user wants to compile a certain package dummy_msgs independently from ROS 2, but compiling std_msgs and geometry_msgs for both the ROS 1 and ROS 2 System Handles, the following command should be executed:

    ~/is_ws$ colcon build --cmake-args -DMIX_ROS_PACKAGES="std_msgs geometry_msgs" -DMIX_ROS2_PACKAGES="dummy_msgs" API Reference

The Integration Service API Reference constitutes an independent section within this documentation. To access the ROS 2 System Handle subsection, use this link.