Visualizing CARLA LIDAR point clouds using RVIZ CARLA-ROS-Bridge

In this article we will visualize LIDAR point clouds using carla Ros bridge. CARLA is an open source Self driving car simulator which provides different Autonomous vehicle sensors including LIDAR , radar , RGB cameras and so on.

ROS (robot operating system) is a framework which is an standardized platform for development of all kind of Robots. Carla-Ros-Bridge as the name suggest helps us to bridge ROS and CARLA. RVIZ is visualization tools which is used to visualize different sensors data in ROS.

So this article assumes that you have installed CARLA and ROS.

First of all lets start CARLA server using the following command

./CarlaUE4.sh

To launch CARLA ROS Bridge navigate to the following location.

<HOME>carla-ros-bridge/catkin_ws/src/ros-bridge/carla_ros_bridge/launch

Next open the terminal and enter the following command.

source ~/carla-ros-bridge/catkin_ws/devel/setup.bash

Now launch carla_ros_bridge_with_example_ego_vehicle.launch file.

carla_ros_bridge_with_example_ego_vehicle.launch

once you run this file following pygame window will apear. Press b and then P to allow the vehicle drive in autopilot mode

Tesla model 3 has been launched

The Carla-ros-bridge client has lauched this car as an agent. You can interact with it using ros. All the data of sensors can be accessed using ros.Following topics are available

Lets visualize some of the data in rviz. To launch rviz open a new terminal and enter the following command.

source ~/carla-ros-bridge/catkin_ws/devel/setup.bash

next run rviz using the following

rviz rviz

Rviz window

Now lets visulize camera and lidar data in rviz. Go to add->by-topic and select the topic you want to visualize.

we can see lidar pointcloud and output of rgb camera in rviz. You can record any of these data using rosbag files. Also you can reconfigure the sensor setup using this file

<HOME>carla-ros-bridge/catkin_ws/src/ros-bridge/carla_spawn_objects/config/objects.json

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