WARNING: This documentation refers to an outdated version of rosjava and is probably incorrect. Use at your own risk.


As mentioned in the Package Summary, this package includes a variety of different components that together enable teleoperation of the PR2 from Clojure. Many of these components may be useful on their own, mainly for others writing Clojure ROS nodes (although the tf_node may be useful for users of other fringe languages as well). Since the individual components are fairly well-documented by file-level comments and function-level docstrings, this page will limit itself to describing how to use the package as a whole for teleoperation of the PR2.


To use the package, you will first have to follow the setup instructions for rosjava and rosclj, then "rosmake clj_pr2".

Then, to bring up the ROS nodes required for teleoperation:

  • First, bring up the robot/simulator and nav stack
    • For a robot, bring up prx.launch and 2dnav_pr2/move_base/2dnav_pr2.launch

    • For the simulator, use launch/sim1.launch or launch/sim2.launch, or modify these as desired.

  • Second, roslaunch launch/both_arms.launch or launch/right_arm.launch, depending on the arm configuration of your (possibly simulated) robot.

Finally, run bin/clj to bring up a REPL with all of the necessary code on the classpath, and type

(load "ros/teleop") 

to load all of the rosjava, rosclj, and teleoperation code, import/refer to it in the current namespace, initialize ROS, and define "nh" to point at a fresh NodeHandle.


At this point, you have a wide range of functions available for controlling the sensors, head, torso, base, arms, and grippers of the PR2. This page will survey the most useful such functions. For exhaustive lists of functions and more detailed documentation, look at the files in src_clj/ros/pr2/*.clj, and src_clj/ros/teleop.clj.

Various methods are provided for pointing the head in desired directions.

At the lowest level, point-head takes a PointStamped, and points the head at it.

(point-head nh {:header {:frame_id "/map"} :point (make-point [1 2 3])})

Track-head does the same thing, but re-points the head every 100 ms (for when the robot is moving). Passing nil instead of a PointStamped stops tracking.

(track-head nh {:header {:frame_id "/map"} :point (make-point [1 2 3])})

Look-at is less general; it just looks at a given xyz in base_link.

(look-at nh [1 0 2]) ; look up and ahead

Finally, there are a handful of functions for looking in general directions.

(look-l) ; look to the left


get-current-torso-height gets the current torso height (in meters), and set-torso-position moves the torso to the specified height.

; Move torso up 10 cm.
(set-torso-position nh (+ 0.1 (get-current-torso-height nh)))


As with most of the other robot parts (arms, grippers, torso), you can get an object representing the current base state like so:

(get-current-base-state nh)

To move the base (using move_base), pass an x, y, and theta to the move-base function (assumed to be in map frame).

(move-base [2 5 Math/PI])

Some methods for moving the base by a given distance, without collision checking, are also provided. These are unsafe; be careful!

(forward 0.1) ; unsafely forward 10 cm.

Many other methods for relative, precise, unsafe, etc. base movement can be found in src_clj/ros/pr2/base.clj.


The simplest way to move the arms is to call move-arm-to-pose, which attempts to get the griper_palm_link to the specified pose by calling IK, then passing move_arm the IK solution. The shorter form expects a pose in base_link, whereas the longer form takes an explicit frame as well as other arguments.

(move-arm-to-pose nh true (make-pose [0.5 0.2 0.7] [0 0 0 1]))

To move the gripper relatively (in base_link), use move-arm-rel:

(move-arm-rel nh false [0 0 0.1]) ; left arm up 10 cm

If you know the precise set of joint angles you want to move to, you can use move-arm-to-state instead. It takes a robot-arm-state as argument (see src_clj/ros/pr2/arm.clj). The easiest way to create a robot-arm-state is to use the arm-joint-state function. For instance, to move the left arm to straight out (all 0 angles), run

(move-arm-to-state nh (arm-joint-state false [0 0 0 0 0 0 0]))

There are also some useful predefined joint states, which can be retrieved by name.

(move-arm-to-state nh (arm-joint-state false "tucked"))

These functions all also come in unsafe variants (suffixed with -unsafe), which directly move the arm using the trajectory controller, with no collision checking. These and other potentially useful functions are defined in src_clj/ros/pr2/arm.clj.


The grippers can be opened and closed by open-gripper/close-gripper, which take an argument (like many of the arm functions) that is true for right gripper, false for left gripper. Close-gripper takes a force as an optional second argument.

(open-gripper true)     ; open right gripper
(close-gripper false)   ; close left gripper
(close-gripper true 10) ; close right gripper, low force

You can also attach held objects to the gripper, which will be filtered by the robot-self-filter and checked for collisions by move_arm. Currently, the only option is an Odwalla bottle-shaped object.

(attach-bottle nh true)    ; Attach bottle to right gripper
(unattach-bottle nh false) ; Detach from left gripper


laser-fast and laser-slow change the speed of the tilting laser. laser-fast is needed for safe base movement; laser-slow is needed for table object perception or cluttered grasping environments.


find-object-table returns a point in base_link for the nearest object on a table in front of the robot.

(find-object-table nh)


If you bring any nodes down then up again, or anything else is behaving weirdly, reset can often help; it shuts down NodeHandle nh and redefines nh as a fresh NodeHandle.


Some simple grasps are also defined, which take an arm (true for right, false for left) and an object position in base_link (i.e., as returned by find-object-table), and try to move the arm and gripper to grab the object. These work fairly reliably for Odwalla and water bottles, but have not been tested on other objects. Grasp-object-base uses unsafe base movement for the final move into grasp position, and grasp-object-arm uses unsafe arm movement.

(grasp-object-arm true (find-object-table nh)) ; grasp nearest object on table

Limited access to TF is provided by transform-point-tf and transform-pose-tf

(transform-point-tf nh "/base_link" "/map" [1 2 3])

These and other useful geometric primitives are defined in src_clj/ros/geometry.clj.

Finally, all of the functionality of rosclj is provided. For instance, you can easily publish a single message on a topic, or get a single message from a topic.

(put-message nh "/talk" {:class Float64 :data 12.0} 1)
(get-message nh "/mechanism_state" MechanismState)

Wiki: clj_pr2 (last edited 2013-01-16 21:16:59 by AustinHendrix)