Simple Commander API


The goal of the Nav2 Simple (Python3) Commander is to provide a “navigation as a library” capability to Python3 users. We provide an API that handles all the ROS 2 and Action Server tasks for you such that you can focus on building an application leveraging the capabilities of Nav2 (after you’ve configured it to your liking with your plugins of choice). We also provide you with demos and examples of API usage to build common basic capabilities in autonomous mobile robotics in the nav2_simple_commander package.

A simple demonstration is shown below. Note: goToPose(), goThroughPoses(), followWaypoints() and similar are non-blocking such that you can receive and process feedback in a single-threaded application. As such while waiting for a task to be completed, the while not nav.isNavComplete() design is necessary to poll for changes in the navigation completion, and if not complete some tasks of interest to your application (like processing feedback, doing something with the data the robot is collecting, or checking for faults).

You may use this simple commander preempt commands of the same type (e.g. you can preempt a goToPose() with another goToPose()) but you must explicitly cancel a current command and issue a new one if switching between goToPose(), goThroughPoses(), or followWaypoints().

from nav2_simple_commander.robot_navigator import BasicNavigator
import rclpy

nav = BasicNavigator()

# ...

nav.waitUntilNav2Active() # if autostarted, else use lifecycleStartup()

# ...

while not nav.isNavComplete():
  feedback = nav.getFeedback()
  if feedback.navigation_duration > 600:

# ...

result = nav.getResult()
if result == NavigationResult.SUCCEEDED:
    print('Goal succeeded!')
elif result == NavigationResult.CANCELED:
    print('Goal was canceled!')
elif result == NavigationResult.FAILED:
    print('Goal failed!')

Commander API

The methods provided by the basic navigator are shown below, with inputs and expected returns. If a server fails, it may throw an exception or return a None object, so please be sure to properly wrap your navigation calls in try/catch and check returns for None type.

Robot Navigator Method Description
setInitialPose(initial_pose) Sets the initial pose (PoseStamped) of the robot to localization.
goThroughPoses(poses) Requests the robot to drive through a set of poses (list of PoseStamped).
goToPose(pose) Requests the robot to drive to a pose (PoseStamped).
followWaypoints(poses) Requests the robot to follow a set of waypoints (list of PoseStamped). This will execute the chosen TaskExecutor plugin at each pose.
cancelNav() Cancel an ongoing goThroughPoses goToPose or followWaypoints.
isNavComplete() Checks if navigation is complete yet, times out at 100ms. Returns True if completed and False if still going.
getFeedback() Gets feedback from navigation task, returns action server feedback msg.
getResult() Gets final result of navigation task, to be called after isNavComplete returns True. Returns action server result msg.
getPath(start, goal) Gets a path from a starting to a goal PoseStamped, nav_msgs/Path.
getPathThroughPoses(start, goals) Gets a path through a starting to a set of goals, a list of PoseStamped, nav_msgs/Path.
changeMap(map_filepath) Requests a change from the current map to map_filepath’s yaml.
clearAllCostmaps() Clears both the global and local costmaps.
clearLocalCostmap() Clears the local costmap.
clearGlobalCostmap() Clears the global costmap.
getGlobalCostmap() Returns the global costmap, nav2_msgs/Costmap.
getLocalCostmap() Returns the local costmap, nav2_msgs/Costmap.
waitUntilNav2Active() Blocks until Nav2 is completely online and lifecycle nodes are in the active state. To be used in conjunction with autostart or external lifecycle bringup.
lifecycleStartup() Sends a request to all lifecycle management servers to bring them into the active state, to be used if autostart is False and you want this program to control Nav2’s lifecycle.
lifecycleShutdown() Sends a request to all lifecycle management servers to shut them down.

Examples and Demos

All of these can be found in the package.

Alternative text

The nav2_simple_commander has a few examples to highlight the API functions available to you as a user:

  • - Demonstrates the navigate to pose capabilities of the navigator, as well as a number of auxiliary methods.
  • - Demonstrates the navigate through poses capabilities of the navigator, as well as a number of auxiliary methods.
  • - Demonstrates the waypoint following capabilities of the navigator, as well as a number of auxiliary methods required.

The nav2_simple_commander has a few demonstrations to highlight a couple of simple autonomy applications you can build using the API:

  • - A simple security robot application, showing how to have a robot follow a security route using Navigate Through Poses to do a patrol route, indefinitely.
  • - A simple item picking application, showing how to have a robot drive to a specific shelf in a warehouse to either pick an item or have a person place an item into a basket and deliver it to a destination for shipping using Navigate To Pose.
  • - A simple shelf inspection application, showing how to use the Waypoint Follower and task executors to take pictures, RFID scans, etc of shelves to analyze the current shelf statuses and locate items in the warehouse.