Author: Jordi Pages < >

Maintainer: Jordi Pages < >



(!) Please ask about problems and questions regarding this tutorial on Don't forget to include in your question the link to this page, the versions of your OS & ROS, and also add appropriate tags.

Playing pre-defined upper body motions

Description: Tutorial on how to play back pre-defined upper body motions with TIAGo using the play_motion package.

Keywords: play_motion, joint_trajectory_controller, motion planning

Tutorial Level:



The purpose of this tutorials is to show how to run pre-defined upper body motions with TIAGo. This is pretty easy by using the play_motion package, which enables executing simultaneous trajectories in multiple groups of joints.


First make sure that the tutorials are properly installed along with the TIAGo simulation, as shown in the Tutorials Installation Section.


First open two consoles and source the public simulation workspace as follows:

  • $ cd ~/tiago_public_ws
    $ source ./devel/setup.bash

Launching the simulation

In the first console launch for example the following simulation

  • roslaunch tiago_gazebo tiago_gazebo.launch public_sim:=true robot:=titanium world:=empty

Gazebo will show up with TIAGo in an empty world.

When the simulation is launched, the play_motion action server is automatically launched and the motions defined in tiago_bringup/config/tiago_motions_titanium.yaml have been loaded in the ros parameter server.

In order to see the names of the motions defined run the following instruction in the second console:

  • $ rosparam list | grep  "play_motion/motions" | grep "meta/name" | cut -d '/' -f 4

For the titanium version of TIAGo the following motions are available in the public simulation:

  • close_hand

The relevant information of a motion, i.e. the wave motion, is stored in the following parameters:

  • /play_motion/motions/wave/joints

In the case of the wave motion the joints parameter specifies which joints intervene in the motion:

  • $ rosparam get /play_motion/motions/wave/joints
    [arm_1_joint, arm_2_joint, arm_3_joint, arm_4_joint, arm_5_joint, arm_6_joint, arm_7_joint]

which denotes that in order to execute this motion the group of joints of the arm will be used.

The joint trajectory, i.e. timed sequence of positions (see for details), that composes this motion can be retrieved as follows

  • $ rosparam get /play_motion/motions/wave/points
    - positions: [0.06337464909724033, -0.679638896132783, -3.1087325315620733, 2.0882339360702575,
        -1.1201172410014792, -0.031008601325809293, -2.0744261217334135]
      time_from_start: 0.0
    - positions: [0.06335930908588873, -0.7354151774072313, -2.939624246421942, 1.8341256735249563,
        -1.1201355028397157, -0.031008601325809293, -2.0744261217334135]
      time_from_start: 1.0
    - positions: [0.06335930908588873, -0.7231278283145929, -2.9385504456273295, 2.2121050027803877,
        -1.1201355028397157, -0.031008601325809293, -2.0744261217334135]
      time_from_start: 2.0
    - positions: [0.06335930908588873, -0.7354151774072313, -2.939624246421942, 1.8341256735249563,
        -1.1201355028397157, -0.031008601325809293, -2.0744261217334135]
      time_from_start: 3.0

Each row of positions denote the position that each joint has to attain at the given time with respect to the start of the motion.

Playing motions

As said, the play_motion is an action server. In order to run a motion the following graphical action client can be used

  • $ rosrun actionlib /play_motion


In the GUI the name of the motion to run must be filled. The skip_planning is set by default to False, which means that the transition to the first position of the joint trajectory will use planning to prevent collisions. The remaining of the trajectory is always executed without planning as it is responsibility of the programmer to define a safe trajectory. Set skip_planning to True only if you are sure that it is safe to reach the first positions in the trajectory from the current kinematic configuration of the robot.

By pressing the SEND GOAL button the request will be sent to /play_motion Action Server and the motion will start executing.





C++ and Python action clients

In tiago_tutorials/run_motion there are play_motion action clients in C++ and Python.

The usage of the C++ action client node is as follows

  • rosrun run_motion run_motion wave

where the argument is the name of the motion. If no motion is given the list of available motions will be printed out.

The Python action client node is run as follows

  • rosrun run_motion home

Wiki: Robots/TIAGo/Tutorials/motions/play_motion (last edited 2016-10-19 11:52:57 by Jordi Pages)