From Zero to Image Robotics Edition

Check out a short tutorial for a ROS-Driver for Basler Cameras to publish images from the cam. Supported are Basler cameras with USB 3.0 and GigE and also the dart cameras. It is developed by Magazino GmbH.

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A ROS-Driver for Basler Cameras

developed by Magazino GmbH, using the pylon Software Camera Suite by Basler AG, written for the ROS Wiki





This package offers many functions of the Basler-pylon API inside the ROS-Framwork.

The package supports Baslers USB 3.0, GigE as well as the DART cameras.

Images can continuously be published over _ /image_raw  or the  /image_rect _ topic. The latter just in case the intrinsic calibration matrices are provided through the  camera_info_url  parameter.

The camera-characteristic parameter such as hight, width, projection matrices and camera_frame were published over the _ /camera_info _ topic. Furthermore an action-based image grabbing with desired exposure, gain, gamma and / or brightness is provided. Hence one can grab a sequence of images with above target settings as well as a single image.

Adapting camera's settings regarding binning (in x and y direction), exposure, gain, gamma and brightness can be done using provided _ set_* _ services. These changes effect the continuous image acquisition and hence the images provided through the image topics.

The default node operates in Software-Trigger Mode. This means that the image acquisition is triggered with a certain rate and the camera is not running in the continuous mode.

The package opens either a predefined camera (using a given 'device_user_id' parameter) or, if no camera id is predefined the first camera device it can find.



The package has been tested for ROS-Indigo. For other ROS versions, please replace 'indigo' with your desired ROS-Version in the following install instructions.

The pylon_camera-pkg requires the pylonSDK to be installed on your system. In order to build the package, you need to configure rosdep (i.e. the ROS command-line tool for checking and installing system dependencies for ROS packages) such that it knows how to resolve this dependency. This can be achived by executing the following commands:


sudo sh -c 'echo "yaml\_camera/indigo-devel/rosdep/pylon\_sdk.yaml"; > /etc/ros/rosdep/sources.list.d/15-plyon_camera.list'


rosdep update

Then, clone the pylon_camera-pkg, and the camera_control_msgs-pkg and install the pylon SDK in your catkin_ws:


cd ~/catkin_ws/src/ && git clone\_camera.git && git clone\_control\_msgs.git


rosdep install --from-paths . --ignore-src --rosdistro=$ROS_DISTRO -y

Build the pylon_camera package as you would build a standard ROS-package unsing p.e.


cd ~/catkin_ws && catkin_make



All parameters are listed in the default config file:  config/default.yaml


Common parameters


  • The tf frame under which the images were published


  • The DeviceUserID of the camera. If empty, the first camera found in the device list will be used


The CameraInfo URL (Uniform Resource Locator) where the optional intrinsic camera calibration matrices are stored. This URL string will be parsed from the CameraInfoManager:

binning_x & binning_y

  • Binning factor to get downsampled images. It refers here to any camera setting which combines rectangular neighborhoods of pixels into larger "super-pixels." It reduces the resolution of the output image to (width / binning_x) x (height / binning_y). The default values binning_x = binning_y = 0 are considered the same as binning_x = binning_y = 1 (no subsampling).


The desired publisher frame rate if listening to the topics. This parameter can only be set once at start-up. Calling the GrabImages-Action can result in a higher frame rate.


Image Intensity Settings

The following settings do  NOT  have to be set. Each camera has default values which provide an automatic image adjustment resulting in valid images


  • The exposure time in microseconds to be set after opening the camera.


  • The target gain in percent of the maximal value the camera supports. For USB-Cameras, the gain is in dB, for GigE-Cameras it is given in so called 'device specific units'.


  • Gamma correction of pixel intensity. Adjusts the brightness of the pixel values output by the camera's sensor to account for a non-linearity in the human perception of brightness or of the display system (such as CRT).


  • The average intensity value of the images. It depends the exposure time as well as the gain setting. If '**exposure**' is provided, the interface will try to reach the desired brightness by only varying the gain. (What may often fail, because the range of possible exposure values is many times higher than the gain range). If '**gain**' is provided, the interface will try to reach the desired brightness by only varying the exposure time. If '**gain**' AND '**exposure**' are given, it is not possible to reach the brightness, because both are assumed to be fix.


Only relevant, if  'brightness' is set: The brightness_continuous flag controls the auto brightness function. If it is set to false, the brightness will only be reached once. Hence changing light conditions lead to changing brightness values. If it is set to true, the given brightness will be reached continuously, trying to adapt to changing light conditions. This is only possible for values in the possible auto range of the pylon API which is e.g. [50 - 205] for acA2500-14um and acA1920-40gm

exposure_auto & gain_auto

Only relevant, if  'brightness' is set: If the camera should try to reach and / or keep the brightness, hence adapting to changing light conditions, at least one of the following flags must be set. If both are set, the interface will use the profile that tries to keep the gain at minimum to reduce white noise. The exposure_auto flag indicates, that the desired brightness will be reached by adapting the exposure time. The gain_auto flag indicates, that the desired brightness will be reached by adapting the gain.


Optional and device specific parameter


  • The MTU size. Only used for GigE cameras. To prevent lost frames configure the camera has to be configured with the MTU size the network card supports. A value greater 3000 should be good (1500 for RaspberryPI)


  • The inter-package delay in ticks. Only used for GigE cameras. To prevent lost frames it should be greater 0. For most of GigE-Cameras, a value of 1000 is reasonable. For GigE-Cameras used on a RaspberryPI this value should be set to 11772.



The pylon_camera_node can be started over the launch file which includes a config file with desired parameters as frame rate or exposure time


roslaunch pylon_camera pylon_camera_node.launch


rosrun pylon_camera pylon_camera_node

Images were only published if another node connects to the image topic. The published images can be seen using the image_view node from the image_pipeline stack:


rosrun image_view image_view image:=/pylon_camera_node/image_raw



Please provide your qustions via and tag them with  'pylon_camera'

GitHub Repository


Ulrich Klank
pushed ced4d4fb1b1a68877eddb2e8b6be8590dad606ec
Removed maintainer
2018-07-13 13:53:52 UTC
Ulrich Klank
pushed cf3b209208a1a3634cef10cb4f41f223744c51b0
2018-06-19 10:52:42 UTC
Uli Klank
pushed 0ae919b8727316c85a63daf3a611faf139b06b96
Merged in unstable/toru31 (pull request #7)
2018-05-30 14:57:13 UTC
Uli Klank
pushed 41ff5106e6d9abe5489b01f803bc2f7d2aab48a2
Merged in unstable/SW-1912 (pull request #6)
2018-05-30 14:52:22 UTC
Nikolas Engelhard
pushed 97e5579afb847552a482bc262da2081c6aacb6e1
possible fix for setting device_user_id if it was not set by user
2018-05-25 11:36:27 UTC
Ulrich Klank
pushed 78582fb6f5679a5f816d0bb0e7d20515a5cab497
Parameter for auto flash control
2018-05-25 07:30:33 UTC
Ulrich Klank
pushed d4d810c88e89a30460e7ab1928761b8cc38083fd
Propagating the device user id back to ros params server, if not set
2018-05-22 13:53:23 UTC
Ulrich Klank
pushed c465dbad2d3d57a12c9e4fc8c9b393eceb322766
Publish camera info when requested, but deactivate images grabbed when not
2018-05-17 11:50:25 UTC
Ulrich Klank
pushed d1b7d18b0c4467015b5f05369153a547616ef6f1
testing hack
2018-05-17 10:37:07 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed 6540e9e841b7e37a82f4c767536e72d2ff80d039
2018-05-16 16:14:17 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed ff8a38913d58d611976b18b5ca3a131125de3348
Bugfix: CameraPublisherImpl leads to crash
2018-05-16 15:43:21 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed 464b713dcfcdb6ca074fb1b8f94aea804d6cd836
Added CameraInfo to the GrabImagesResult
2018-05-16 14:05:47 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed 556855f456738609300678f7d2312c2af3002540
2018-05-16 13:54:50 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed 0d838bcda51e2aeb164310f9b4a93074becbb029
Revied PR, Moved CameraPublisherImpl struct to method
2018-05-16 10:29:01 UTC
Ulrich Klank
pushed d2396b4a846c2cb7e656be34491d10bd00e88816
Workaround for overestimated wrong numbers of subscribers on image_raw
2018-05-16 08:29:46 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed 436491b8f6fa6739e326d9f49f1a16f3e3552581
2018-05-15 12:01:38 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed ecf70b3a3fdee872390437d2eba77df06edcf1a1
Tried to fix LICENSE-issue
2018-05-15 11:40:46 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed 0b974dff61f09c46a9b233b4cf38c2ebfb0ddae8
2018-05-07 15:47:09 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed da3ecc11f83b7f53b53cfe6bd176a1033b6d708b
Updated license year
2018-05-07 15:46:21 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed 5a94e98e217c4081ec2d37db16e826c004a1f2d7
Issue found -> wrong year -> renamed back
2018-05-07 15:45:37 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed f0f5d3b67828c41b8666f6e04a09858bf8cdfc30
2018-05-07 15:43:20 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed 44e113743c3bf209eb64145c5f207525f8f62723
Again renamed the LICENSE file
2018-05-07 15:42:36 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed 9629b8d2aef5e7e1aaff38b521c88373bc2b4c18
2018-05-07 12:35:08 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed b4bbb2b90d67b9f04774151a9923f2deda18c487
Renamed LICENSE.rst
2018-05-07 12:34:27 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed 6457892286f60b60f02a72d7d753867cefc37d74
Hard coded line_3 as output for gigE cameras
2018-04-20 08:29:35 UTC
Fangjun Kuang
pushed ea4734e9307e68b61f99eaae2acec721121af7e6
fix typos.
2018-04-14 14:33:37 UTC
Alexandr Kondratev
pushed 12ad1766de46ca63a0441cdcc075cc7cb9833976
Added definition in default config and readme description of missed parameter 'shutter_mode'
2018-04-02 17:46:50 UTC
Alexandr Kondratev
pushed 3824ac528a4cd1c7ffdb0a6dc0d4c6cdfae82b10
Fixed typo in message in method PylonCameraNode::startGrabbing
2018-04-02 17:24:24 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed ea4d9438b8351b6577dc1fd2bd29d961c21415db
2018-03-28 09:53:20 UTC
Marcel Debout
pushed 444612191f9e823c160e1b2c50a3e169493fa1f4
Bugfix for useless rectification
2018-03-28 09:20:51 UTC


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