Client library for writing ROS nodes in JavaScript with nodejs
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chris-smith Fix bug re-initing Node (#114)
-Check against resolved node name when looking for valid re-init calls
-Adds new tests for calling initNode multiple times.
Latest commit 49a80a6 Aug 20, 2018

rosnodejs Build Status


npm install rosnodejs

Start a node

const rosnodejs = require('rosnodejs');
.then(() => {
  // do stuff


const nh = rosnodejs.nh;
const sub = nh.subscribe('/chatter', 'std_msgs/String', (msg) => {
  console.log('Got msg on chatter: %j', msg);

const pub = nh.advertise('/chatter', 'std_msgs/String');
pub.publish({ data: "hi" });


const service = nh.advertiseService('/add_two_ints', 'beginner_tutorials/AddTwoInts', (req, resp) => {
  res.sum = req.a + req.b;
  return true;

const client = nh.serviceClient('/add_two_ints', 'beginner_tutorials/AddTwoInts');{a: 1, b: 2});


nh.setParam('val', 2);
.then((val) => {
  // do stuff

Generating Messages

Messages can be generated in a number of ways depending on the versions of ROS and Node.js you're using.

  • catkin - works in ROS Kinetic and later for Node.js v6+.
$ catkin_make
$ catkin build
  • loadAllPackages() - One-time "build" call available through rosnodejs for versions of ROS before Kinetic and Node.js v6+. Should be called separately and in advance of processes attempting to use messages.
const rosnodejs = require('rosnodejs');
  • On the fly - all versions of ROS and Node.js 4.5+. When generating on the fly, messages can not be required until the node has initialized.
const rosnodejs = require('rosnodejs');
await rosnodejs.initNode('my_node', { onTheFly: true })
const stdMsgs = rosnodejs.require('std_msgs');
Pre-Kinetic Kinetic & Later
Node.js >= v6 loadAllPackages(), on the fly catkin, loadAllPackages(), on the fly
Node.js < v6 on the fly on the fly

Using Messages

const sensorMsgs = rosnodejs.require('sensor_msgs');

const image = new sensorMsgs.msg.Image();
const temperature = new sensorMsgs.msg.Temperature({ temperature: 32 });

const SetCameraInfo = sensorMsgs.srv.SetCameraInfo;
const setRequest = new SetCameraInfo.Request();

// messages can be used when advertising/subscribing
const StringMsg = rosnodejs.require('std_msgs').msg.String;
const sub = nh.subscribe('/chatter', StringMsg, (msg) => { ... });
const pub = nh.advertise('/chatter', StringMsg);

const AddTwoInts = rosnodejs.require('beginner_tutorials').srv.AddTwoInts;
const service = nh.advertiseService('/add_two_ints', AddTwoInts, (req, resp) => { ... });
const client = nh.serviceClient('/add_two_ints', AddTwoInts);

Actions (Experimental)

const nh = rosnodejs.nh;
const as = new rosnodejs.ActionServer({
  type: 'turtle_actionlib/Shape',
  actionServer: '/turtle_shape'

as.on('goal', function (goal) {


const ac = new rosnodejs.ActionClient({
  type: 'turtle_actionlib/Shape',

ac.sendGoal({edges: 3, radius: 1});

Run the turtlesim example


rosrun turtlesim turtlesim_node
rosrun turtle_actionlib shape_server

Then run

node src/examples/turtle.js

or, if you are running an older version of node:

npm run compile
node dist/examples/turtle.js


Checkout rosnodejs_examples for a more catkin-inspired take on using rosnodejs.

Inspired By

rosnodejs was inspired by other work that you can learn more about here