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Version 0.1.7
License Apache License 2.0
Build type AMENT_CMAKE

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VCS Version crystal-devel
Last Updated 2019-03-13
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  • Michael Jeronimo


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Mission Executor

The Mission Executor module is a task server that coordinates other tasks. It can be used to direct the activities of multiple robots as well as other, non-navigation and non-robot tasks. This module would typically reside on a central orchestration computer and direct the operation of remote robots.


The Mission Executor module is implemented using Behavior Trees. As detailed in Michele Colledanchils's doctoral thesis, Behavior Trees are a Control Architecture (CA) initially used in the video game industry to control non-player characters and now applied to the control of autonomous robots.

The Mission Executor task server receives a MissionPlan and returns whether the plan was successfully executed, failed, or was canceled. The ExecuteMissionTask is defined as follows:

namespace nav2_tasks {

using ExecuteMissionCommand = nav2_msgs::msg::MissionPlan;
using ExecuteMissionResult = std_msgs::msg::Empty;

using ExecuteMissionTaskClient = TaskClient<ExecuteMissionCommand, ExecuteMissionResult>;
using ExecuteMissionTaskServer = TaskServer<ExecuteMissionCommand, ExecuteMissionResult>;

} //  namespace nav2_tasks

NOTE: An Empty message is used in the definition of the task client and server if there is no other data required.

The mission plan message consists of a header and a mission plan string:

std_msgs/Header header
string mission_plan

The mission plan itself is an XML string that defines a Behavior Tree. For example, the following XML string specifies a sequence of three NavigateToPose actions:

<root main_tree_to_execute="MainTree">
  <BehaviorTree ID="MainTree">
    <SequenceStar name="root">
      <NavigateToPose position="10;11;0.0" orientation="0.7071;0;0.7071;0"/>
      <NavigateToPose position="20;21;0.0" orientation="0.7071;0;0.7071;0"/>
      <NavigateToPose position="30;31;0.0" orientation="0.7071;0;0.7071;0"/>

Invoking the MissionExecutor

The MissionExecutor is an implementation of the ExecuteMissionTaskServer interface, so the corresponding ExecuteMissionTaskClient is used to communicate with the task server, like this:

// Demonstrate using a task client to invoke the MissionExecutor task
void invokeMission(rclcpp::Node::SharedPtr node, std::string mission_plan)
  // Create a task client for this particular kind of task
  auto task_client_ = std::make_unique<nav2_tasks::ExecuteMissionTaskClient>(node);

  // Create the input and output 
  auto cmd = std::make_shared<nav2_tasks::ExecuteMissionCommand>();
  auto result = std::make_shared<nav2_tasks::ExecuteMissionResult>();

  // Set the mission_plan field to the XML input
  cmd->mission_plan = mission_plan;

  // Send this message to the task server

  // Loop until the tasks is complete
  for (;; ) {
    // Get the status of the remote task server
    TaskStatus status = task_client_->waitForResult(result, 100ms);

    switch (status) {
      case TaskStatus::SUCCEEDED:
        printf("Task succeeded\n");

      case TaskStatus::FAILED:
        printf("Task failed\n");

      case TaskStatus::CANCELED:
        printf("Task cancelled\n");

      case TaskStatus::RUNNING:
        // Continue waiting for task to complete

        throw std::logic_error("Invalid status value");

Open Issues

  • Schema definition and XML document validation - Currently, there is no dynamic validation of incoming XML. The Behavior-Tree.CPP library is using tinyxml2, which doesn't have a validator. Instead, we can create a schema for the Mission Planning-level XML and use build-time validation of the XML input to ensure that it is well-formed and valid.

Wiki Tutorials

See ROS Wiki Tutorials for more details.

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