Only released in EOL distros:  


This package provides an interface and basic utilities for monitor hardware systems on the PR2 during production testing. This package does not contain a stable or supported API, but it is used internally by Willow Garage production team members to monitor hardware.

The node pr2_hw_test_monitor is can be run as a "monitor" to check a robot of device under test. The monitor loads "listeners" to observe look for specific events or conditions. The monitor polls the listeners for status, and resets or halts listeners as necessary. Using different listener configurations, the monitor can check almost any PR2 system or sub-system.

The monitor node publishes pr2_self_test_msgs/TestStatus on the test_status topic with data it collects from listeners. It also publishes diagnostic_msgs/DiagnosticArray on diagnostics that it collects from the listeners.

Configuring a Monitor


Listeners should be subclasses of pr2_hw_listener/PR2HWListenerBase.

The halt and reset methods should halt or reset the device under test. This could mean, for example, calling the pr2_etherCAT/reset_motors service.

Loading Listeners

Listeners are loaded by parameters in the private namespace of the pr2_hw_test_monitor node. This example loads a CameraListener and an EthercatListener:

  type: EthercatListener
  file: ethercat_listener
  type: CameraListener
  file: camera_listener

The parameters type and file are mandatory, and specify the class name and filename/submodule of the listener, respectively. The file is assumed to be in the package pr2_hardware_test_monitor.

Monitor Behavior

At the simplest level, the test monitor polls each listener at 1Hz to check status. The listener returns a tuple of:

level (int) : 0 - OK, 1 - WARN, 2 - ERROR, 3 - STALE
message (str) : Status message
diags ([ diagnostic_msgs/DiagnosticStatus ]) : Diagnostics to publish

The monitor collects the status level and message and publishes it to the output topic test_status as a pr2_self_test_msg/TestStatus.

Output Level + Message

The output level is set to the maximum of the level of the listeners.

The message is assembled from a string of errors and warning messages. If the status is "0", the message is "OK".

In order to detect transient errors, the monitor will "latch" errors until it is reset. This latching happens after a grace period ends.


The monitor advertises the services halt_test and reset_test (both of type std_srvs/Empty).

When halted, the monitor calls the halt method on all listeners and likewise on reset. Listeners must start or stop hardware, for example by calling pr2_etherCAT/reset_motors.

After a reset, any latched errors are cleared and a 30 second grace period begins. Any errors that occur in the 30 second grace period are not latched.

Exceptions and Error Conditions

The monitor node listens to a /heartbeat topic of type std_msgs/Empty. If the there is not traffic on this topic for 300 seconds, the monitor node will halt all listeners and report an error.

If any listener fails to load, the monitor will report an error with a message of "Listener Startup Error". This can happen if either the type or file parameters are not specified, a listener doesn't exist, or a listener returns false on create.

Monitor Node ROS API


Monitors PR2 hardware testing

Subscribed Topics

/heartbeat (std_msgs/Empty)
  • Heartbeat from Test Manager.

Published Topics

/diagnostics (diagnostics_msgs/DiagnosticArray)
  • Diagnostics output from listeners
test_status (pr2_self_test_msgs/TestStatus)
  • Status of test or device


halt_test (std_srvs/Empty)
  • Halt monitor and listeners
reset_test (std_srvs/Empty)
  • Reset monitor and listeners


~ ({})
  • Listener parameters

Listener Info

Each listener is initialized using the create() method with a given set of parameters. The descriptions below explain what parameters, if any, a listener needs, and the ROS API of each listener.

EtherCAT Listener

Monitors pr2_etherCAT/motors_halted and calibrated topics. Reports an error if motors halted, and a warning if uncalibrated.

halt method halts motors, reset method resets them.

The EtherCAT Listener allows at most 10 net dropped packets per hour during tests. Net dropped packets are defined as dropped packets minus late packets. If more dropped packets are reported by "EtherCAT Master" in the diagnostics, the listener will halt motors and report "Dropped Packets". See <<Ticket(wg-ros-pkg 4848)>>.

Encoder errors will cause the listener to report an error. This error will be cleared on reset.


  • drops_per_hour ( int ) : Allows users to specify a maximum packet drop rate. Default: 10.

Transmission Listener

Monitors pr2_transmission_check/trans_status for status of all robot transmissions. The pr2_transmission_check node must be running for this to work.

The transmission listener can also check for casters slipping.

  type: TransmissionListener
  file: trans_listener
  caster_slip: fl

This makes sure the caster does not slip more than a prescribed amount during the caster burn in. When the caster slip detection is enabled, the TransmissionListener will subscribe to pr2_controller_manager/mechanism_statistics and verify the caster's rotation.


The CameraListener listens for diagnostics from any wge100 camera node.

It will report an error if the camera reports error values three times (consecutively), or goes more than five second before it reports an "OK" reading.

The listener will report a warning for transient error conditions, like when the camera reports a one-off error.

Reports stale if camera doesn't respond for 10 seconds.

A regression test in this package checks for this behavior.

Diagnostics Aggregated Listener

Listens to the /diagnostics_agg (diagnostic_msgs/DiagnosticArray) to check for any problems in the diagnostics.


  • ignore_diags ( [ str ] ) - Diagnostic categories to ignore

  • whitelist ( [ str ] ) - Focus only on these categories of diagnostics.

Hokuyo Listener

Monitors diagnostics from a hokuyo_node with the given namespace. Reports a warning/error for any warning or error in the diagnostics.


  • name ( str ) - Name of hokuyo node. Ex: hokuyo_node

ECStats Listener

Listens to dropped packets and/or links from an ecstats node in the ectools package.


Listens to base_driving (std_msgs/Bool topic and reports if PR2 is driving during burn in test.

  • Halt - Calls pr2_base/halt_drive service to stop driving.

  • Reset - Calls pr2_base/reset_drive service to start driving.

Wiki: pr2_hardware_test_monitor (last edited 2010-11-17 02:57:22 by KevinWatts)