New Datalink Toolkit ROS Package

The ARC Lab at WPI is releasing the Datalink Toolkit ROS package, designed to for remote operation of a robot over a high-latency and low-bandwidth datalink. The package was developed and extensively tested as part of the DARPA robotics challenge, though it is not specific to a type of robot.
The package allows the user to easily set up relays and compression methods for a single-master system. These relays avoid duplicating data sent over the datalink while compressing common datatypes (i.e. point-clouds and images) to minimize bandwidth usage.
The toolkit includes both message-based and service-based relays so that data can be sent on-demand or at a specified frequency. The service-based relays are more robust in low-bandwidth conditions, guaranteeing the synchronization of camera images and camera info messages, and allow more reconfiguration while running.
The key features of the package are:
- Generic relays with integrated rate throttling for all message types
- Dedicated relays with rate throttling for images and pointclouds
- Generic service-based relays with integrated rate throttling for all message types
- Dedicated service-based relays with integrated rate throttling for images and pointclouds
- Image resizing and compression using methods from OpenCV and image_transport
- Pointcloud voxel filtering and compression using methods from PCL, Zlib, and other algorithms. (Note: pointcloud compression is provided in a separate library that can be easily integrated with other projects)
- Launch files for easy use of the datalink software with RGBD cameras
- Works with ROS Hydro
Full story at ROS.org