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Intel RealSense Package for ROS on NVIDIA Jetson TX2

RealSense ROS Jetson TX2

RealSense ROS Jetson TX2

Intel provides an open source ROS package for their RealSense Cameras. Let’s install the package on the Jetson TX2. Looky here:


Intel is investing heavily in computer vision hardware, one of the areas being 3D vision. There have been several generations of the RealSense devices, in the video we demonstrate a RealSense R200. A R400 has been recently announced, and should be available soon.

The size of the R200 and the light weight make the R200 camera a device to consider for 3D vision and robotic applications.


There are two prerequisites for installing the realsense_camera package on the Jetson TX2. The first is to install the camera driver library, called librealsense, on the Jetson TX2. We covered this installation in an earlier article.

The second prerequisite of course is to install Robot Operating System (ROS). A short article on how to install ROS on the Jetson TX2 is also available.

Install RealSense Package for ROS

There are convenience scripts to install the RealSense ROS package on the Github JetsonHacks account. After the prerequisites mentioned above have been installed:

$ git clone
$ cd installRealSenseROSTX2
$ ./installRealSenseROSTX2 <catkin workplace name>

Where catkin workplace name is the name of the catkin_workspace to place the RealSense ROS package. In the video, the workspace is named jetsonbot.

You can then launch a R200 node:

$ cd
$ source devel/setup.bash
$ roscd realsense_camera
$ roslaunch realsense_camera r200_nodelet_rgbd.launch

The RealSense ROS package contains configuration files for launching Rviz. If you have Rviz installed on the Jetson TX2:

$ cd
$ source devel/setup.bash
$ roscd realsense_camera
$ rviz -d rviz/realsense_rgbd_pointcloud.rviz


There is a file called Notes.txt in the installRealSenseROSTX2 directory which has some short notes for installing Rviz and rqt-reconfigure to help visualize the output from the RealSense camera and adjust camera parameters from the Jetson TX2.

The installation above shows a Jetson TX2 running L4T 27.1 which was installed using JetPack 3.0. The scripts install Intel RealSense ROS package version 1.8.0.

The JetsonHacks script installs ros-kinetic-librealsense. In effect, this means that there are two installations of librealsense on the Jetson. The reason that librealsense needs to be built on the Jetson instead of installed from the ROS repository is that a kernel module named uvcvideo must be modified to recognize the RealSense camera formats. The JetsonHacks librealsense install covers how to build the module. You can remove the original installation if desired:

$ cd librealsense
$ sudo make uninstall

Also, the ros-kinetic-librealsense package installs linux-headers in the /usr/src directory. These headers DO NOT match the Jetson TX2, so you should consider deleting them. Same with the uvcvideo realsense directory.

$ cd /usr/src
$ sudo rm -r linux-headers-4.4.0-70
$ sudo rm -r linux-headers-4.4.0-70-generic
$ sudo rm -r uvcvideo-1.1.1-3-realsense

The ROS repository also holds a ros-kinetic-realsense-camera package. The package is version 1.7.2 (as of March, 2017). There is an issue with that particular version, the auto-exposure (lr_auto_exposure) does not work correctly. This makes the camera considerably less effective in varied lighting conditions. Therefore the script builds the package from source (version 1.8.0) where the issue has been addressed.

Unlike most of articles and videos on JetsonHacks, installation of the Intel RealSense ROS package requires some prerequisites to be installed before installation. While previous articles cover the steps involved, be aware that this is a little more complicated than most of the software installation articles on this site.

As always, the scripts made available from JetsonHacks only provide a guide for how to complete the described task, you may have to modify them to suit your needs.

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