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The asr_flock_of_birds package is the driver for Ascension Technology Corp magnet tracking system "Flock of Birds" (FoB). It provides the remote server which publishes two 6d posemarker and the necessary TF from the magnet tracking system. It also contains launch-files and calibration tools for the use of it.


Flock of Birds is a 6D tracking system which can very precisely track position and orientation of three sensors in a magnetic field in front of the receiver. Each tracker is connected to an data-glove and so only two trackers are used currently (for left and right hand). If started, the node publishes periodically the pose of the trackers as TF-publisher as well as asr_msgs::AsrObject-Messages on the /fob_object-Topic.

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Left image: Flock of Birds magnet-tracker receiver with its controller PC.

Right image: Flock of Birds dataglove with for handmotion captureing (green) and the Flock of Bilds sensor (red).


This package can be used as a standalone-driver for the Flock of Birds tracker system, but it is recommended to use it as a part of the asr_kinematic_chain_dome.

Needed packages

This package depends on asr_msgs-Package for the publication of the fob_objects.

Needed hardware

Ascension Technology Corp magnet tracking system "Flock of Birds" is needed.

Start system

There are mainly two ways to start the Flock of Birds server: To start it directly form the PC which the hardware is connected with, use roslaunch asr_flock_of_birds flock_of_birds.launch To start from another PC, the package provides a remote script. But Firstly, a ssh connection have to be set up. Secondly, use rosrun asr_flock_of_birds flock_of_birds_remote.sh

ROS Nodes

The launched Node publishes asr_msgs::AsrObject-Messages on the /fob_object-Topic. There are no configuration or controlling elements.

2024-07-06 12:36