Interaction Specification

Interactions are specified in yaml to be loaded onto the interactions manager node, via either the parameter server or over the node ros api.

Interaction Types

  • Direct executable
  • Rosrun executable
  • Roslaunch launcher
  • Web url
  • Web app
  • Android activity

Yaml Specification

A single interaction specification in yaml has the following format:

  - remap_from:

The names above resolve as follows:

  • name : the name used to determine interaction type and start the interactivity
    • direct executable : either program name (must be on the PATH), or absolute path to the program, e.g. rqt_graph
    • rosrunnable : a ros resource name (pkg/filename) pair, e.g. rocon_interactions/loader
    • roslaunchable : a ros resource name (pkg/launcher) where the filename is a .launch file, e.g. rocon_interactions/rviz_markers.launch
    • web url : a normal web url with the web_url() wrapper, e.g. web_url(
    • web app : a normal web url pointing to a valid ros web app with the web_app() wrapper, e.g. web_app(
    • android activity : the fully qualified name for launching an activity, e.g. com.github.robotics_in_concert.rocon_android.SolutionManager
  • role: the role to embed this interaction in, e.g. admin, dev, customer
  • compatibility: a rocon_uri field establishing its platform compatibility
  • display_name: a human friendly name to show to the user
  • description: provide some info about the interaction, important as the name can be usually configured in various ways
  • icon: an icon to represent this interaction (optional)
    • resource_name: ros resource name to locate this icon
  • parameters: is a free-form yaml variable used to configure the interaction in various ways:
    • direct exes/rosrunnables/android app : loads the yaml directly as private ros parameters.
    • roslaunchables : utilise key-value pairs only and passes these in as roslaunch args.
    • web app : utilise key-value pairs only and reads these from the query string of the url.
  • remappings: same meaning as remappings in roslaunch xml files, see the examples
    • roslaunchables : currently do not accept remappings (workaround: use parameters passed in as roslaunch args to configure topic names).

Interactions may be combined together in a yaml list for loading onto the interaction node.


The interactions node will substitute various symbols when loading the interactions. These include:

  • ROSBRIDGE_ADDRESS : substitutes the interactions node’s configured rosbridge address parameter
  • ROSBRIDGE_PORT : substitutes the interactions node’s configured rosbridge port parameter


Web app:

name: web_app(
role: 'Web Apps'
compatibility: rocon:/*/*/hydro|indigo
display_name: Listener
description: Simple listener using rosjs in a web app.
  resource_name: rocon_bubble_icons/rocon.png
  rosbridge_address: __ROSBRIDGE_ADDRESS__
  rosbridge_port: __ROSBRIDGE_PORT__
  - remap_from: /chatter
    remap_to: /babbler