[ROS in 5 mins] 044 – What is ROS tf?

[ROS in 5 mins] 044 - What is ROS tf?

Written by Bayode Aderinola


In this video, we’ll see what the ROS tf package is, and what it does, and how to use one of its tools (rqt_tf_tree), in just about 5 minutes!

Let’s go!

Step 0. Create a project in Robot Ignite Academy(RIA)

We have the best online ROS course available in RIA. It helps you learn ROS in the easiest way without setting up ROS environment locally. The only thing you need is a browser! Create an account here and start to browse the trial course for free now! We’ll use the TF ROS 101 as an example today.

Step 1. What is TF?

The TF

  1. It’s a Ros Package
  2. It lets the user keep tracking of multiple coordinate frames over time.
  3. It allows making computations in one frame and then transforming to another.

You can see the available TF in ROS by typing the following command

rosrun rqt_tf_tree rqt_tf_tree

You can see that there are 3 coordinate frames in this simulation world, turtle 1 and turtle 2. The rqt_tf_tree will only show the relationship for a particular timestep.

Want to learn more?

If you are a ROS beginner and want to learn ROS basics fast, we recommend you take any of the following courses on Robot Ignite Academy:

TF ROS 101

ROS Basics In 5 Days (Python) 

ROS Basics In 5 Days (C++)


Edited by: Tony Huang

Links mentioned in the video and other useful links:


We love feedback, so, whether you like the video or not, please share your thoughts on the comments section below.

Thanks for watching.

[irp posts=”11242″ name=”[ROS in 5 mins] 043 – What is tf view_frames?”]

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