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Simulating a Kinect using Gazebo (without ROS)

asked 2015-11-15 22:37:58 -0500

Arun gravatar image

updated 2015-11-17 17:51:51 -0500

I'm trying to simulate a Kinect sensor in Gazebo (6.1, standalone without ROS). I tried loading the Kinect model in ".gazebo/models/kinect" using the GUI: Insert->Kinect. I tried checking up the published topics using Ctrl+T, but could not see any image or point cloud topics pertaining to the Kinect.

I have a completely fresh install of Gazebo 6 on Ubuntu 14.04. Trying to load the PR2 model also results in no kinect related topics (other cameras seem to work - the stereo pair publishes ImageStamped messages).

Are there any extra libraries that need to be installed to get the kinect sensor to work? For example, do I need an openni driver (like in ros where you may have to run the openni launcher) for the kinect sensor to start publishing topics?

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answered 2015-11-18 12:55:27 -0500

Carlos Agüero gravatar image

updated 2015-11-18 20:13:50 -0500

The Kinect model uses the DepthCamera sensor that I believe it's not finished. If you look at the source code in sensors/, you will see that there's no topic publication. I think these will be the set of steps to make it work:

  1. Change the model.sdf to include a `depth_camera> section:

    <sensor name="camera" type="depth">
  2. Add to the the topic publication. You can use as a template the code in In the DepthCameraSensor case, the size of each pixel would be 4 bytes corresponding to a float. Also, we would access the depth information with this->camera->GetDepthData().

    if (this->imagePub && this->imagePub->HasConnections())
      msgs::ImageStamped msg;
      msgs::Set(msg.mutable_time(), this->scene->GetSimTime());
     msg.mutable_image()->set_step(this->camera->GetImageWidth() * 4);
     msg.image().width() * 4 * msg.image().height());

I'm assuming that the code in rendering:DepthCamera works and the depth image is properly rendered. If you don't want to use gazebo_ros_pkgs, you would have to modify the Gazebo source code, include those changes and probably debug it until it works. It will be fun and a nice contribution if you make it work.

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answered 2015-11-18 23:19:28 -0500

Arun gravatar image

updated 2015-11-18 23:25:39 -0500

Thanks for the reply Carlos. I just updated the code in & .hh to add an image publisher & followed the steps you had pointed to above. When I load the kinect now, I am able to see an ImageStamped topic. When I click on that topic to display the image, gazebo crashes (the image is about half copied I think). With gdb, I got the following error:

Program received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault. __memcpy_sse2_unaligned () at ../sysdeps/x86_64/multiarch/memcpy-sse2-unaligned.S:33 33 ../sysdeps/x86_64/multiarch/memcpy-sse2-unaligned.S: No such file or directory. (gdb) bt

%0  __memcpy_sse2_unaligned () at ../sysdeps/x86_64/multiarch/memcpy-sse2-unaligned.S:33
%1  0x00007ffff7b9095b in std::string::_M_replace_safe(unsigned long, unsigned long, char const*, unsigned long) () from /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/
%2  0x00007ffff5bde8a5 in gazebo::msgs::Image::set_data (this=0x393b380, value=0x0, size=1228800)
    at gazebo/msgs/image.pb.h:303
%3  0x00007ffff5bf0f2e in gazebo::sensors::DepthCameraSensor::UpdateImpl (this=0x7fff682bb050)
    at gazebo/sensors/
%4  0x00007ffff5c33837 in gazebo::sensors::Sensor::Update (this=0x7fff682bb050, _force=false) at gazebo/sensors/
%5  0x00007ffff5c41f0d in gazebo::sensors::SensorManager::SensorContainer::Update (this=0xc0a730, _force=false)
    at gazebo/sensors/
%6  0x00007ffff5c426e6 in gazebo::sensors::SensorManager::ImageSensorContainer::Update (this=0xc0a730, _force=false)
    at gazebo/sensors/
%7  0x00007ffff5c40216 in gazebo::sensors::SensorManager::Update (this=0x7ffff63debc0 <SingletonT<gazebo::sensors::SensorManager>::GetInstance()::t>, _force=false)
    at gazebo/sensors/
%8  0x00007ffff5c3168c in gazebo::sensors::run_once (_force=false) at gazebo/sensors/
%9  0x00007ffff786c9b0 in gazebo::Server::Run (this=0x6f2d50) at gazebo/
%10 0x000000000402bd0 in main (argc=1, argv=0x7fffffffd478) at /home/barun/Projects/ExternalPackages/gazebo/gazebo/

which occurs when it tries to copy the data from the depth sensor (line 223 of

        msg.image().width() * 4 *
        msg.image().height()); // NOTE: We need to get the depth data, not image data! ImageDepth = 4 bytes (float)

My ImageStamped msg format is


Any idea what's causing this issue? I've attached the source files. DepthCameraSensor.hh

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Asked: 2015-11-15 22:37:58 -0500

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Last updated: Nov 18 '15