Announcing ROS 2 Bag Support

Loading ROS 2 bag files for playback and visualization inside Foxglove Studio

Esther Weon 2 min read
Published July 15, 2021

Today, we're excited to announce that Foxglove Studio now supports loading ROS 2 bags for playback and visualization. With v0.13.0, a new data source option (ROS 2 Bag Folder (local)) will be available in the sidebar’s Connection tab. With this option, you can load rosbag2 files for playback.

Current limitations & future plans

While we’re excited for ROS 2 to reach true feature parity with ROS 1 support in Studio, it’s important to note several important differences in the features as they stand today.

For one, since ROS 2 bags currently do not contain the message definitions that were used to generate the bag files, Studio is currently unable to load custom message definitions. However, it will still support standard ROS message definitions (e.g. std_msgs/ColorRGBA, geometry_msgs/Pose, etc.) as it does today. With that said, the Foxglove team is working closely with ROS developers to ensure that future ROS 2 bags will include the message definitions used to generate them. This will allow third-party tools like Studio to decode and inspect ROS 2 data.

Studio also does not yet support preloading ROS 2 data. After initializing a data source connection, Studio typically preloads data to pre-populate panels like the Plot panel. Adding this same support for ROS 2 sources is high on our list of priorities – join our Slack community or sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when this functionality lands.

preloading data in plot panel Preloading ROS 1 data into the Plot panel before starting playback.

We're also working on allowing users to connect to live ROS 2 data sources. In the same way that users can currently connect to a live ROS 1 stack in Studio via a native connection or a Websocket bridge, we want our users to be able to listen live to their ROS 2 nodes.

Share your feedback

Foxglove Studio support for ROS 2 is still a work in progress, so let us know what improvements or new features you'd like to see!

We also know not all roboticists use ROS as their robotics platform of choice, so we’d love to hear your thoughts on how we should expand our supported data sources in the future.

To share your feedback, join our Slack channel, get involved in our GitHub community, or message us on Twitter.

Check out our docs for details on all our currently supported data sources.

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