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How to create and run a new component in Apollo Cyber RT

Apollo Cyber RT framework is built based on the concept of component. As a basic building block of Apollo Cyber RT framework, each component contains a specific algorithm module which process a set of data inputs and generate a set of outputs.

In order to successfully create and launch a new compoent, there are four essential steps that need to happen:

  • Set up the component file structure
  • Implement the component class
  • Set up the configuration files
  • Launch the component

The example below demonstrates how to create a simple component, then build, run and watch the final output on screen. If you would like to explore more about Apollo Cyber RT, you can find a couple of examples showing how to use different functionalities of the framework under directory /apollo/cyber/examples/.

Note: the example has to be run within apollo docker environment and it's compiled with Bazel.

Set up the component file structure

Please create the following files, assumed under the directory of /apollo/cyber/examples/common_component_example/:

  • Header file: common_component_example.h
  • Source file: common_component_example.cc
  • Build file: BUILD
  • DAG dependency file: common.dag
  • Launch file: common.launch

Implement the component class

Implement component header file

To implement common_component_example.h:

  • Inherit the Component class
  • Define your own Init and Proc functions. Proc function needs to specify its input data types
  • Register your component classes to be global by using CYBER_REGISTER_COMPONENT
#include <memory>
#include "cyber/class_loader/class_loader.h"
#include "cyber/component/component.h"
#include "cyber/examples/proto/examples.pb.h"

using apollo::cyber::examples::proto::Driver;
using apollo::cyber::Component;
using apollo::cyber::ComponentBase;

class CommonComponentSample : public Component<Driver, Driver> {
 public:
  bool Init() override;
  bool Proc(const std::shared_ptr<Driver>& msg0,
            const std::shared_ptr<Driver>& msg1) override;
};

CYBER_REGISTER_COMPONENT(CommonComponentSample)

Implement the source file for the example component

For common_component_example.cc, both Init and Proc functions need to be implemented.

#include "cyber/examples/common_component_example/common_component_example.h"
#include "cyber/class_loader/class_loader.h"
#include "cyber/component/component.h"

bool CommonComponentSample::Init() {
  AINFO << "Commontest component init";
  return true;
}

bool CommonComponentSample::Proc(const std::shared_ptr<Driver>& msg0,
                               const std::shared_ptr<Driver>& msg1) {
  AINFO << "Start common component Proc [" << msg0->msg_id() << "] ["
        << msg1->msg_id() << "]";
  return true;
}

Create the build file for the example component

Create bazel BUILD file.

load("//tools:cpplint.bzl", "cpplint")

package(default_visibility = ["//visibility:public"])

cc_binary(
    name = "libcommon_component_example.so",
    deps = [":common_component_example_lib"],
    linkopts = ["-shared"],
    linkstatic = False,
)

cc_library(
    name = "common_component_example_lib",
    srcs = [
        "common_component_example.cc",
    ],
    hdrs = [
        "common_component_example.h",
    ],
    deps = [
        "//cyber",
        "//cyber/examples/proto:examples_cc_proto",
    ],
)

cpplint()

Set up the configuration files

Configure the DAG dependency file

To configure the DAG dependency file (common.dag), specify the following items as below:

  • Channel names: for data input and output
  • Library path: library built from component class
  • Class name: the class name of the component
# Define all coms in DAG streaming.
    component_config {
    component_library : "/apollo/bazel-bin/cyber/examples/common_component_example/libcommon_component_example.so"
    components {
        class_name : "CommonComponentSample"
        config {
            name : "common"
            readers {
                channel: "/apollo/prediction"
            }
            readers {
                channel: "/apollo/test"
            }
        }
      }
    }

Configure the launch file

To configure the launch (common.launch) file, specify the following items:

  • The name of the component
  • The dag file you just created in the previous step.
  • The name of the process which the component runs within
<cyber>
    <component>
        <name>common</name>
        <dag_conf>/apollo/cyber/examples/common_component_example/common.dag</dag_conf>
        <process_name>common</process_name>
    </component>
</cyber>

Launch the component

Build the component by running the command below:

bash /apollo/apollo.sh build

Note: make sure the example component builds fine

Then configure the environment:

cd /apollo/cyber
source setup.bash

There are two ways to launch the component:

  • Launch with the launch file (recommended)
cyber_launch start /apollo/cyber/examples/common_component_example/common.launch
  • Launch with the DAG file
mainboard -d /apollo/cyber/examples/common_component_example/common.dag
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