gazebo_ros2_control repository

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Last Updated 2021-02-19
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This is a ROS 2 package for integrating the ros2_control controller architecture with the Gazebo simulator.

This package provides a Gazebo plugin which instantiates a ros2_control controller manager and connects it to a Gazebo model.


This repository contains the contents for testing gazebo_ros2_control

It is running Gazebo and some other ROS 2 nodes.

Video + Pictures


Modifying or building your own

cd Docker
docker build -t gazebo_ros2_control .

To run the demo

Using Docker

Docker allows us to run the demo without GUI if we don't configure it properly. The following command runs the demo without GUI:

docker run -it --rm --name gazebo_ros2_control_demo --net host gazebo_ros2_control ros2 launch gazebo_ros2_control_demos gui:=false

The in your local machine you can run the Gazebo client:


Using Rocker

To run the demo with GUI we are going to use rocker which is a tool to run docker images with customized local support injected for things like nvidia support. And user id specific files for cleaner mounting file permissions. You can install this tool with the following instructions.

The following command will launch Gazebo:

rocker --x11 --nvidia --name gazebo_ros2_control_demo gazebo_ros2_control:latest

The following commands allow to move the cart in the rail:

docker exec -it gazebo_ros2_control_demo bash
source /home/ros2_ws/install/setup.bash
ros2 run gazebo_ros2_control_demos example_position

Add ros2_control tag to a URDF

To use ros2_control with your robot, you need to add some additional elements to your URDF. You should include the tag <ros2_control> to access and control the robot interfaces. We should include

  • a specific <plugin> for our robot
  • <joint> tag including the robot controllers: commands and states.
<ros2_control name="GazeboSystem" type="system">
  <joint name="slider_to_cart">
    <command_interface name="effort">
      <param name="min">-1000</param>
      <param name="max">1000</param>
    <state_interface name="position"/>
    <state_interface name="velocity"/>
    <state_interface name="effort"/>

Add the gazebo_ros2_control plugin

In addition to the ros2_control tags, a Gazebo plugin needs to be added to your URDF that actually parses the ros2_control tags and loads the appropriate hardware interfaces and controller manager. By default the gazebo_ros2_control plugin is very simple, though it is also extensible via an additional plugin architecture to allow power users to create their own custom robot hardware interfaces between ros2_control and Gazebo.

    <plugin filename="" name="gazebo_ros2_control">
      <parameters>$(find gazebo_ros2_control_demos)/config/cartpole_controller.yaml</parameters>

The gazebo_ros2_control <plugin> tag also has the following optional child elements:

  • <robot_param>: The location of the robot_description (URDF) on the parameter server, defaults to robot_description
  • <robot_param_node>: Name of the node where the robot_param is located, defauls to robot_state_publisher
  • <parameters>: YAML file with the configuration of the controllers

Default gazebo_ros2_control Behavior

By default, without a <plugin> tag, gazebo_ros2_control will attempt to get all of the information it needs to interface with a ros2_control-based controller out of the URDF. This is sufficient for most cases, and good for at least getting started.

The default behavior provides the following ros2_control interfaces:

  • hardware_interface::JointStateInterface
  • hardware_interface::EffortJointInterface
  • hardware_interface::VelocityJointInterface

Advanced: custom gazebo_ros2_control Simulation Plugins

The gazebo_ros2_control Gazebo plugin also provides a pluginlib-based interface to implement custom interfaces between Gazebo and ros2_control for simulating more complex mechanisms (nonlinear springs, linkages, etc).

These plugins must inherit gazebo_ros2_control::GazeboSystemInterface which implements a simulated ros2_control hardware_interface::SystemInterface. SystemInterface provides API-level access to read and command joint properties.

The respective GazeboSystemInterface sub-class is specified in a URDF model and is loaded when the robot model is loaded. For example, the following XML will load the default plugin:

<ros2_control name="GazeboSystem" type="system">
  <plugin name="gazebo_ros2_control" filename="">

Set up controllers

Use the tag <parameters> inside <plugin> to set the YAML file with the controller configuration.

  <plugin name="gazebo_ros2_control" filename="">
    <parameters>$(find gazebo_ros2_control_demos)/config/cartpole_controller.yaml</parameters>

This controller publishes the state of all resources registered to a hardware_interface::StateInterface to a topic of type sensor_msgs/msg/JointState. The following is a basic configuration of the controller.

    type: joint_state_controller/JointStateController

This controller creates an action called /cart_pole_controller/follow_joint_trajectory of type control_msgs::action::FollowJointTrajectory.

    type: joint_trajectory_controller/JointTrajectoryController
       - slider_to_cart
       - slider_to_cart

Executing the examples

There are some examples in the gazebo_ros2_control_demos package. These examples allow to launch a cart in a 30 meter rail.

You can run some of the configuration running the following commands:

ros2 launch gazebo_ros2_control_demos
ros2 launch gazebo_ros2_control_demos
ros2 launch gazebo_ros2_control_demos

Send example commands:

When the Gazebo world is launched you can run some of the following commads to move the cart.

ros2 run gazebo_ros2_control_demos example_position
ros2 run gazebo_ros2_control_demos example_velocity
ros2 run gazebo_ros2_control_demos example_effort

Gazebo + Moveit2 + ROS 2

This example works with ROS 2 Foxy. You should install Moveit2 from sources, the instructions are available in this link.

The repository with all the required packages are in the gazebo_ros_demos.

ros2 launch rrbot_moveit_demo_nodes


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