ROS node driver for Xsens devices.
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  • Install the MTi USB Serial Driver

    $ git clone
    $ cd ~/xsens_mt
    $ make
    $ sudo modprobe usbserial
    $ sudo insmod ./xsens_mt.ko
  • Install gps_common or gps_umd as available based on the ROS distributable

    $ sudo apt-get install ros-kinetic-gps-umd


    $ sudo apt-get install ros-kinetic-gps-common

Running the Xsens MTi ROS Node

  1. Copy the contents of the src folder into your catkin workspace 'src' folder. Make sure the permissions are set to o+rw on your files and directories. For details on creating a catkin workspace environment refer to Creating a catkin ws

  2. in your catkin_ws ($CATKIN) folder, execute

    $ catkin_make
  3. Source the environment for each terminal you work in. If necessary, add the line to your .bashrc

    . $CATKIN/devel/setup.bash
  4. Edit the config file to match your specific use case:

    rosed xsens_driver xsens.yaml
  5. To run the node

    $ roslaunch xsens_driver xsens.launch
  6. Open a new terminal (do not forget step 3)

    $ . $CATKIN/devel/setup.bash
    $ rostopic echo /mti/sensor/sample


    $ . $CATKIN/devel/setup.bash
    $ rostopic echo /mti/filter/orientation

Tested with ROS Kinetic distribution, initially developed for ROS Indigo distribution.


  • The Mti1 (Motion Tracker Development Board) is not recognized. Support for the Development Board is present in recent kernels. (Since June 12, 2015).If your kernel does not support the Board, you can add this manually

    $ sudo /sbin/modprobe ftdi_sio $ echo 2639 0300 | sudo tee /sys/bus/usb-serial/drivers/ftdi_sio/new_id

  • The device is recognized, but I cannot ever access the device Make sure you are in the correct group (often dialout or uucp) in order to access the device. You can test this with

      $ ls -l /dev/ttyUSB0
      crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 188, 0 May  6 16:21 /dev/ttyUSB0
      $ groups
      dialout audio video usb users plugdev

    If you aren't in the correct group, you can fix this in two ways.

    1. Add yourself to the correct group You can add yourself to it by using your distributions user management tool, or call

       $ sudo usermod -G dialout -a $USER

      Be sure to replace dialout with the actual group name if it is different. After adding yourself to the group, either relogin to your user, or call

       $ newgrp dialout

      to add the current terminal session to the group.

    2. Use udev rules Alternatively, put the following rule into /etc/udev/rules.d/99-custom.rules

       SUBSYSTEM=="tty", ATTRS{idVendor}=="2639", ACTION=="add", GROUP="$GROUP", MODE="0660"

      Change $GROUP into your desired group (e.g. adm, plugdev, or usb).

  • The device is inaccessible for a while after plugging it in When having problems with the device being busy the first 20 seconds after plugin, purge the modemmanager application.