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A ros node is initialized by the gazebo_ros_api system plugin. It's the /gazebo you see on the node list. Since the plugins are run in the same process, you can only have 1 node, the /gazebo one.

Having another node for your plugin is not necessary. If you want to keep your plugin independent from everything else, you can just configure the ros backend accordingly

ros::NodeHandle nh;
ros::CallbackQueue callback_queue;
ros::AsyncSpinner spinner(1, &callback_queue);