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Getting Started with the Velodyne HDL-64E

Description: Using the Velodyne stack to connect to and display data from a Velodyne HDL-64E LIDAR

Keywords: Velodyne, HDL-64, LIDAR, point cloud

Tutorial Level: BEGINNER

Before starting this turorial, please complete installation as described in the ROS installation instructions. This tutorial assumes that Ubuntu is being used. Otherwise, check out and install the code manually from the source control repository

Install Driver

Install the Velodyne stack from the repositories by running

sudo apt-get install ros-VERSION-velodyne

Connect to the LIDAR

  1. Power the LIDAR via the included adapter
  2. Connect the LIDAR to an Ethernet port on your computer.
  3. Statically assign an IP to this port in the 192.168.3.x range.

sudo ifconfig eth0
  1. Add a static route to the LIDAR's IP address. The IP address can be found on the CD case which was included with the LIDAR. Alternatively, you can use Wireshark to monitor the network traffic and identify the settings.

sudo route add 192.168.XX.YY eth0

Prepare Launch Scripts

  1. Convert the provided calibration data from the standard Velodyne XML format to the node's YAML format. It is usually kept in the "DSR Viewer" folder on the CD which was included with the LIDAR. Velodyne also maintains this information based off of serial number and can be acquired from the vendor.

rosrun velodyne_pointcloud gen_calibration.py 64db.xml
  1. Create a launch file based off of the 32e_points.launch file. The Velodyne models 64E, 64E_S2, and 64E_S2.1 are valid. Note that the specific model is important as each model broadcasts at different packet rates.

cp ~/catkin_ws/src/velodyne/velodyne_pointcloud/launch/32e_points.launch ~/catkin_ws/src/velodyne/velodyne_point_cloud/launch/64e_points.launch
  1. Find the line

<arg name="model" value="32E"/>
  1. #4 And modify it to read

<arg name="model" value="64E_S2.1"/>

View Data

  1. Launch the provided pointcloud generation launchfile, specifying the absolute path of the calibration file that was generated in the previous step.

roslaunch velodyne_pointcloud 64e_points.launch calibration:=/home/user/64db.yaml
  1. Launch rviz, with the "velodyne" frame as the fixed frame.

rosrun rviz rviz -f velodyne
  1. In the "displays" panel, click "Add", then select "Point Cloud2", then press "OK".
  2. In the "Topic" field of the new "Point Cloud2" tab, enter "/velodyne_points"


  • All LIDARs we have seen multicast in the 192.168.3.XX subnet. If this doesn't work, you can use Wireshark to verify the subnet the packets are being sent to.

  • Older units may have their settings updated via serial communication. Review the manual to update these settings.

Wiki: velodyne/Tutorials/Getting Started with the HDL-64E (last edited 2018-11-29 22:42:17 by rukie)