ROS package for Bluetechnix Argos P100 ToF camera.
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This ROS package uses an old api for the Bluetechnix Argos 3d p100 sensor.

There is a new package ( that uses the new BltToFApi developed by Bluetechnix for interacting with their sensors.

We recommend to use the new bta_tof_driver package.

ROS package for Bluetechnix Argos3D P100 ToF camera.


This package explains how to configure your system and ROS to use the Argos3D P100 ToF camera. The package includes an example allowing you to visualize images using the rviz viewer included in ROS. It demostrates how to use the camera within ROS and the different parameter configurations of the P100 as well as its capabilities.

To get more information about the Time of Flight camera Argos3D P100 please visit Bluetechnix website:

First step: Get ROS

The argos3d_p100_ros_kg works with ROS versions groovy and hydro. You can use catkin workspaces or the previous rosbuild to configure, compile and get ready ROS.

We will point in the above lines how to get ros_hydro and catkin workspace ready from the tutorials of the ROS web site.

In Ubuntu follow the ROS installation tutorial:

Why to use catkin workspaces:

To configure a catkin workspace in your ROS installation, follow this:

ROS tutorial:

Known Problems

Be sure your libboost library version is >= 1.49. Previous versions as 1.46 generate errors while compiling argos3d_p100-ros-pkg.

1. Configuration

Setup P100 USB rules and native libraries

The first step is to add the PMDSDK to our system. (The PMDSDK is copyrighted software and it is distributed with your Argos3D P100)

1.1 Usb Device rules

After unziping the software distributed with your Argos3D P100 camera, browse to the directory of your operating system version.

Install the driver for using the ToF camera:

In Ubuntu/linux copy the file from the driver folder to /etc/udev/rules.d/

cd driver
sudo cp 10-pmd-ubuntu.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/

This will set the right permissions to allow not sudo users to use the camera.

1.2 Libraries setup

Add PMDSDK to your system (use the right version for your system 32 or 64 bits).

  1. Add the dynamically linked shared object library libpmdaccess2. Use one of the following options:

You have different ways to add it to the LD_LIBRARY_PATH.

  • You can simply copy the file to /usr/local/lib as root (or the defauld search library path of your system)
  • Add a .conf file (like pmd_camera_L64.conf) with the path of your library in /etc/ The file must contaning the following lines:
#PMD camera support

replace the dots with the absolute path to the PMDSDK directory

  1. Add includes and dynamic plugin libraries
  • Move the PMDSDK folder to a directory where the operating system can find it (/usr/include)
  • or set an environment variable called $PMDDIR to the path where there is the PMDSDK.

After adding libraries, update the links and cache of the share libraries with:


2. Installation

2.1 Install dependencies

Make sure you have the following dependencies already installed:

 apt-get install ros-hydro-pcl-ros ros-hydro-pcl-conversions ros-hydro-perception-pcl 

2.2 Install the package

Clone from repository: to your src/ folder in your catkin workspace. and compile it with:

cd catkin_ws
source devel/setup.bash ## initialize search path to include local workspace
cd src/
git clone
cd ..

3. Usage

* Watch our demo video:

3.1 Start the ROS core

roscore &

3.2 Start capturing

cd catkin_ws
source devel/setup.bash
rosrun argos3d_p100 argos3d_p100_node 

You can change the camera parameters through command option when initializing the node

Use --help parameter to display parameter initialization usage

 Using help for argos3d_p100_ros_pkg
 You can set default configuration values for the camera with the following options: 

 rosrun argos3d_p100 argos3d_p100_node 
	-it *Integration_Time* 
	  Integration time(in msec) for the sensor 
	  (min: 100 | max: 2700 | default: 1500) 
	-mf  *Modulation_Frequency* 
	  Set the modulation frequency(Hz) of the sensor 
	  (min: 5000000 | max: 30000000 | default: 30000000) 
	-bf *Bilateral_Filter* 
	  Turns bilateral filtering on or off 
	  (ON: if set | OFF: default) 
	-fr *Frame_Rate* 
	  Set the frame rate of the camera by setting the Phase Time (Please be careful when setting values higher than 40 FPS without using an extra cooling system. The camera can stress by overheating and be damaged). 
	  (min: 1 | max: 160 | default: 40)
	-flip_x *flip_x* 
	  Flip images in the x coordinate. 
	  (ON: if set | OFF: default)
	-flip_y *flip_y* 
	  Flip images in the y coordinate. 
  	  (ON: if set | OFF: default)
	-af *Amplitude_Filter_On* 
	  Whether to apply amplitude filter or not. Image pixels with amplitude values less than the threshold will be filtered out 
	  (ON: if set | OFF: odefault) 
	-at *Amplitude_Threshold* 
	  What should be the amplitude filter threshold. Image pixels with lesser aplitude values will be filtered out. Amplitude Filter Status should be true to use this filter 
	  (min: 0 | max: 2500 | default: 0) 

 rosrun argos3d_p100 argos3d_p100_node -it 1500 -mf 30000000 

* Use calibration file

In the software distibuted with your camera there is a calibration file that provides precise 3D position calculation. The file is load when the connection with you Argos3D is established.

In order to use it, just copy this file to the folder where you will execute the node:

cp catkin_ws
cd catkin_ws
rosrun argos3d_p100 argos3d_p100_node 

The argos3d_p100_node will show a message that confirmes you if the calibration file was loaded successfully.

3.3 Visualization in rviz

rosrun rviz rviz 

After the rviz window comes up, set the following options

Add a Pointcloud2 topic to visualize the depth clouds. Two different point sets are published with following topic names:

  • /depth_non_filtered : raw data from the pmd camera.
  • /depth_filtered : after applying amplitude threshold, if selected.

To do this please perform the following steps:

  1. In the "Display" panel on the left, open the first group of settings called "Global Options", set the option "Fixed frame" to /tf_argos3d
  2. At the bottom in "Display" click on the button add to open a dialog titled "Create visualization"
  3. In the dialog opened after, choose the tab "By topic" and select the /depth_non_filtered topic.

3.4 Using filters and parameters configuration

To apply point filters and change camera parameters, use dynamic_reconfigure from ros. To use, it run the configuration interface (after launching argos3d_p100_ros_pkg)

rosrun rqt_reconfigure rqt_reconfigure 

Select /argos3d_p100 to view the options available for modifications.

Following camera parameters and filtering methods can be accessed using the dynamic reconfigure

  • Integration_Time : Modifies the integration time of the sensor.
  • Modulation_Frequency : Modifies the modulation frequency of the sensor.
  • Bilateral_Filter : Turns bilateral filtering on or off.
  • Frame_Rate : Sets the frame rate by changing the Phase Time. NOTE (Please be careful when setting values higher than 40 FPS without using an extra cooling system. The camera can stress by overheating and be damaged).
  • Flip_X : Flip 3d data in the x coordinate.
  • Flip_Y : Flip 3d data in the y coordinate.
  • Amplitude_Filter_On : Use the amplitude filter or not
  • Amplitude_Threshold : Image pixels with smaller amplitude values will be filtered out. Amplitude_Filter_On status needs to be true to apply this filter value.