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sick_scan is an open-source project to support the laser scanner of the company SICK using the ROS-framework
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cfg Fix for startup procedure to enable automatic SOPAS ascii to SOPAS bin. Sep 25, 2018
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example_bags support for rms3xx prepared Jun 10, 2018
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LICENSE licensed under apache 2.0 May 29, 2018
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Table of contents

This stack provides a ROS driver for the SICK laser and radar sensors mentioned in the following list. The SICK MRS6124 is a multi-layer, multi-echo 3D laser scanner that is geared towards rough outdoor environments.

Supported Hardware

This driver should work with all of the following products.

ROS Device Driver for SICK laser and radar sensors - supported scanner types:

device name part no. description tested?
MRS6124 6065086 24 layer max. range: 200m, ang. resol. 0.13 [deg] hor., 0.0625 [deg] ver. ✔ [stable]
Scan-Rate: 10 Hz
MRS1104 1081208 4 layer max. range: 64m, ang. resol. 0.25 [deg] hor., 2.50 [deg] ver. ✔ [stable]
Scan-Rate: 50 Hz, 4x12.5 Hz
LMS1104 1092445 1 layer max. range: 64m, ang. resol. 0.25 [deg] ✔ [stable]
Scan-Rate: 150 Hz, 4x37.5 Hz
TiM551 1060445 1 layer max. range: 10m, ang. resol. 1.00[deg] ✔ [stable]
Scan-Rate: 15 Hz
TiM561 1071419 1 layer max. range: 10m, ang. resol. 0.33 [deg] ✔ [stable]
Scan-Rate: 15 Hz
TiM571 1079742 1 layer max. range: 25m, ang. resol. 0.33 [deg] ✔ [stable]
Scan-Rate: 15 Hz
LMS511-10100 PRO e.g. 1046135 1 layer max. range: 80m, ang. resol. 0.167 [deg] ✔ [stable]
Scan-Rate: 100 Hz
LMS1xx-Family e.g. 1041114 1 layer max. range: 28m, ang. resol. 0.25 [deg] ✔ [stable]
Scan-Rate: 15 Hz
RMS3xx 8021530 Radar Sensor ✔ [stable]
Opening angle: +/- 50 [deg]

IMU Support

Devices of the MRS6xxx and MRS1xxx series will in future (2019) be available with an optionally built-in IMU. Further information on the implementation and use of the experimental Imu support can be found on the Imu page.

Start Node

Use the following command to start ROS node:

For MRS6124: roslaunch sick_scan sick_mrs_6xxx.launch

For MRS1104: roslaunch sick_scan sick_mrs_1xxx.launch

For LMS1104: roslaunch sick_scan sick_lms_1xxx.launch

For TiM551, TiM561, TiM571: roslaunch sick_scan sick_tim_5xx.launch

For LMS1xx-family: roslaunch sick_scan sick_lms_1xx.launch

For LMS5xx-family: roslaunch sick_scan sick_lms_5xx.launch

For RMS3xx-family: roslaunch sick_scan sick_rms_3xx.launch (under development)

Starting scanner with specific ip address

To start the scanner with a specific IP address, the launch command can be used for most launch files as follows. The hostname is the ip-address of the scanner:

roslaunch <launch-file> hostname:=<ip-address>


roslaunch sick_scan sick_tim_5xx.launch hostname:= 

Start multiple Nodes

Take the launchfile "sick_tim_5xx_twin.launch" as an example. Rempping the scan and cloud topics is essential to distinguish the scanndata and provide TF information.

Sopas mode

This driver supports both COLA-B (binary) and COLA-A (ASCII) communication with the laser scanner. Binary mode is activated by default. Since this mode generates less network traffic. If the communication mode set in the scanner memory is different from that used by the driver, the scanner's communication mode is changed. This requires a restart of the TCP-IP connection, which can extend the start time by up to 30 seconds. There are two ways to prevent this:

  1. [Recommended] Set the communication mode with the SOPAS ET software to binary and save this setting in the scanner's EEPROM.
  2. Use the parameter "use_binary_protocol" to overwrite the default settings of the driver.
  3. Setting "use_binary_protocol" to "False" activates COLA-A and disables COLA-B (default)

Bugs and feature requests

  • Stability issues: Driver is experimental for the RMS3xx
  • Sopas protocol mapping: -- All scanners: COLA-B (Binary)
  • Software should be further tested, documented and beautified
  • Setting of "topic" should not be hardcoded to /cloud in the future. This allows the simultaneous operation of several scanners. Each point cloud can then be converted using its own TF transformation.


Various tools exist in the repository to improve the operation of the scanners. It is also recommended to read the following section "Troubleshooting". Overview of the tools:

  • Search for scanner in the network: Use the Python3 tool "" in the tools/sick_generic_device_finder directory. The tools will output the IP addresses of the connected scanners and some more information about the scanner.
    Call it with python3, i.e. python3
  • Setting new IP address: With the help of the parameter "new_IP" a new IP address can be assigned when calling the node sick_scan. The launch file sick_new_ip.launch in the launch directory shows an example of how to use this parameter.
  • Converting of pointclouds to images: With the tool pcl_converter.cpp one can convert pointcloud2-data to image. That is especial convenient for 24-layers scanners like the MRS6124.
  • Setting up a brand new scanner: To set up a brand new scanner, it is recommended to use the two tools "" to find the scanner in the network and the launch file sick_new_ip.launch to set a new IP address. If further settings are to be saved that cannot be made via ROS parameters, we recommend using the Windows tool "Sopas ET" from SICK.


  1. Check Scanner IP in the launch file.
  2. Check Ethernet connection to scanner with netcat e.g. nc -z -v -w5 $SCANNERIPADDRESS 2112. For further details about setting up the correct ip settings see IP configuration
  3. View node startup output wether the IP connection could be established
  4. Check the scanner status using the LEDs on the device. The LED codes are described in the above mentioned operation manuals.
  5. Further testing and troubleshooting informations can found in the file test/readme_testplan.txt
  6. If you stop the scanner in your debugging IDE or by other hard interruption (like Ctrl-C), you must wait until 60 sec. before the scanner is up and running again. During this time the MRS6124 reconnects twice. If you do not wait this waiting time you could see one of the following messages:
    • TCP connection error
    • Error-Message 0x0d
  7. Amplitude values in rviz: If you see only one color in rviz try the following: Set the min/max-Range of intensity display in the range [0...200] and switch on the intensity flag in the lauch file
  8. In case of network problems check your own ip address and the ip address of your laser scanner (by using SOPAS ET).
    • List of own IP-addresses: ifconfig|grep "inet addr"
    • Try to ping scanner ip address (used in launch file)
  9. If the driver stops during init phase please stop the driver with ctrl-c and restart (could be caused due to protocol ASCII/Binary cola-dialect).


  • In case of technical support please open a new issue. For optimal support, add the following information to your request:
  1. Scanner model name,
  2. Ros node startup log,
  3. Sopas file of your scanner configuration. The instructions at show how to create the Sopas file.
  • In case of application support please use .
  • Issue Handling: Issues, for which no reply was received from the questioner for more than 7 days, are closed by us because we assume that the user has solved the problem.


In the following instructions, replace <rosdistro> with the name of your ROS distro (e.g., indigo).

From binaries

The driver is released at longer intervals as a binary package and can therefore be installed via the package manager. To be able to use all new functions of the driver, the driver should be built from the sources published in this reposity:

sudo apt-get install ros-<rosdistro>-sick_scan

From source

source /opt/ros/<rosdistro>/setup.bash
mkdir -p ~/ros_catkin_ws/src/
cd ~/ros_catkin_ws/src/
git clone -b devel --single-branch git://
cd ..
catkin_make install
source ~/ros_catkin_ws/install/setup.bash

Quick Start

roslaunch sick_scan sick_mrs6xxx.launch
rosrun rviz rviz
publish to point cloud


The sick_scan_test program was developed for testing the driver. This program checks elementary properties of the scanner. In a first implementation stage, the shots per scan are checked. The test program works according to the following principle:

  1. The parameters from an original launch file are read.
  2. These parameters are modified according to the instructions in the test control file.
  3. The modified parameters including all other parameter settings from the original launch file are copied to a test launch file.
  4. The test launch file is started.
  5. The parameters are checked.
  6. The result of the check is transferred to a result file. The basic procedure can be seen in the following figure: Alt text More information about the structure of the individual files in the test run can be found here:


MRS1000 MRS1104 LMS1000 LMS1104 MRS6000 MRS6124 RMS3xx RMS320 ROS LiDAR SICK LiDAR SICK Laser SICK Laserscanner SICK Radar LMS1xx MRS1xxx LMS1xxx MRS6xxx TiM5xx TiM551 TiM561 TiM571 LMS5xx LMS511


Michael Lehning

on behalf of SICK AG

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