Integrating a USB Video Camera, a USB ToF 3D Camera and USB Telemetry Sensors with Foxglove Studio

This application note provides instructions on how to integrate the input from a USB camera and telemetry sensors with Foxglove. Foxglove Studio is used visualize and analyze the video stream and telemetry data.

1. Foxglove Studio

Foxglove Studio is a powerful visualization and analysis tool designed for robotics developers and engineers. It provides a comprehensive set of features to help users visualize, analyze, and understand robotic systems and their data in real-time. Some key features of Foxglove Studio include:

  • Data Visualization: Foxglove Studio allows users to visualize various types of data generated by robotic systems, such as sensor data, robot state information, and control signals. It offers customizable visualizations that help users gain insights into the behavior of their robots.

  • Real-Time Monitoring: Users can monitor and analyze data streams in real time, enabling them to track the performance of robotic systems, identify issues, and make informed decisions quickly.

  • Data Playback: Foxglove Studio provides the ability to record and playback data, allowing users to review past events, debug issues, and analyze system behavior offline.

  • Integration with ROS: Foxglove Studio is designed to work seamlessly with the Robot Operating System (ROS), a popular framework for building robotic applications. It can subscribe to ROS topics, visualize ROS messages, and interact with ROS nodes, making it a valuable tool for ROS developers.

  • User-Friendly Interface: The tool features an intuitive and user-friendly interface that simplifies

2. Foxglove Bridge

Foxglove Bridge is a component of Foxglove Studio that facilitates seamless communication between different parts of a robotic system, enabling data aggregation, transformation, real-time communication, integration with Foxglove Studio, and scalability.

3. Prerequisites

To proceed with the tests documented below, you will need the following set-up:

  • USB camera;

  • NAVQ+ kit;

  • Linux PC for running Foxglove Studio;

  • NAVQ+ connected to the Linux PC via WiFi.

4. Connecting Camera

To connect the USB Camera to the NAVQ+ kit, utilize a USB Type-C to Type-C cable and insert the camera into the USB1 port of the NAVQ+. By default, the USB1 port is designated for connecting the camera, while the USB2 port is configured for using the NAVQ+ as a USB gadget.

Alternatively, you can connect the camera to a USB hub that is then plugged into the USB1 port of the NAVQ+.

5. Software Setup

5.1. Setting Up NAVQ+

Release 1.1.13 or higher must be installed on the NAVQ+.

5.2. Installing Foxglove Studio

Download Foxglove Studio from the official Foxglove website and follow the installation instructions provided. Please note that a free account is necessary to utilize the software.

Alternatively, you can access the web version of Foxglove Studio at

6. Bridging ROS Data to Foxglove Studio

To run Foxglove Bridge on NAVQ+, use the following command:

user@imx8mpnavq:~$ ros2 launch foxglove_bridge foxglove_bridge_launch.xml port:=8765

Here is an example output:


For a quick communication test, run the ROS2 demo talker and listener. Start the demo talker on one console using the following command:

user@imx8mpnavq:~$ ros2 run demo_nodes_cpp talker

On another console start the demo listener using the following command:

user@imx8mpnavq:~$ ros2 run demo_nodes_cpp listener

Here is an example output:


Run Foxglove Studio on the host machine, and follow these steps:

  1. Click on Open connection... and enter the NAVQ+ IP address in the Websocket URL field, for example, ws://

  2. Click Open to establish the connection.

  1. In the Layout menu, choose Create new layout and then select the Log layout.

The ROS2 log window will open, showing messages arriving to the /chatter topic:

7. Integrating Video Input with Foxglove Studio

Depending on additional hardware connected to the NAVQ+, the USB camera may not be the only V4L2 device present in the system. In order to access the camera the user needs to determine the correct video device file node. The below command lists all device node files registered for the USB camera:

In the above output, the /dev/video3 device node corresponds to the camera connected to the USB1 slot.

Run the following command to start the ROS V4L2 node:

Here is an example output:

Verify that the camera is streaming by checking the currently open topics on the NAVQ+:

Check that the /camera_info topic works:

Here is an example output:

Run Foxglove Studio on the host machine, and follow these steps:

  1. Click on Open connection... and enter the NAVQ+ IP address in the Websocket URL field, for example, ws://

  2. Click Open to establish the connection.

  3. In the Layout menu, choose Create new layout and then select the Image layout.

Your layout will resemble the following:

8. Integrating Data from USB ToF 3D Camera with Foxglove Studio

Check if the Flexx2 camera is detected in the system by running the lsusb command:

Launch the PMD ROS2 node by executing the following command:

Check the ROS2 topic list to see the PMD topics have appeared:

In Foxglove Studio, create a new layout and select the 3D layout template from the options provided.

Open the layout settings, navigate to Topics, find the /pmd_camera/cloud topic, and click on the "Toggle Visibility" icon.

The point cloud will be displayed. You can also view the /pmd_camera/info topic to display the camera settings.


9. Integrating Telemetry Sensors with Foxglove Studio

9.1. IMU Emulation

In this scenario, we will utilize a USB mouse as a substitute for an actual IMU sensor. The USB mouse will be interpreted as a raw HID device, with values from mouse movements serving as simulated data for the IMU values. The X-axis will represent the acceleration.x value, while the Y-axis will correspond to the acceleration.y value. Data will be fetched every second through a timer named self.timer.

In this instance, the mouse is identified by VID 0x248a and PID 0x8366. Kindly adjust the provided examples to align with your specific configuration. You can determine the VID and PID of your USB mouse by utilizing the lsusb utility.

9.2. Preparation

To configure udev and set the HID device mode to 0666 for user access, follow these steps:

  1. Open the file /etc/udev/rules.d/60-hid.rules as the root user.

  2. Add the following rule in the file:

  1. Save the file and exit the text editor.

  2. Reboot the system.

Create a Python script with the following content:

This Python script opens the HID device, reads raw data from it, and then posts it to the /imu topic as a ROS2 node.

9.3. Running

Type the following command to run the script:

 To listen for the /imu topic on NAVQ+, run:

Here is an example output:

Run Foxglove Studio on the host machine, and follow these steps:

  1. Click on Open connection... and enter the NAVQ+ IP address in the Websocket URL field, for example, ws://

  2. Click Open to establish the connection.

  3. In the Layout menu, choose Create new layout and then select the Image layout.

  4. Within Foxglove layout press on and select Split right.

  5. In the new panel, press on and select Change Panel. Select Plot in the menu:

  1. Press the Click to add series button and add the topics /imu.acceleration.x and /imu.acceleration.y:

To add a second series, press the + button next to the Series option.

The resulting layout will display changing acceleration values.

10. Using Foxglove Studio for Analyzing Video Streams and Telemetry Sensors

There are several methods available for saving ROS2 data, including the use of tools like the Foxglove Agent. Here are some various ways to save ROS2 data:

  • Bag Files: ROS2 provides a built-in tool called rosbag that allows users to record and save ROS2 data streams into bag files. These bag files can later be replayed for analysis or debugging purposes.

  • Custom Loggers: Developers can create custom logging mechanisms within their ROS2 nodes to save specific data streams to text files, CSV files, or databases. This gives more flexibility in terms of data format and storage options.

  • Foxglove Agent: As mentioned earlier, the Foxglove Agent can be used not only for visualization and debugging but also for saving ROS2 data. The agent can capture and log ROS2 topics in real-time, providing a comprehensive solution for data collection and analysis.

  • Cloud Storage: Data collected from ROS2 can also be saved directly to cloud storage services like Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, or Azure Blob Storage for long-term storage and easy access from anywhere.

  • Database Integration: Integrating ROS2 with databases like SQLite, MySQL, or MongoDB allows for efficient storage and retrieval of data, enabling more advanced data analysis and querying capabilities.

Let’s save video stream and telemetry data from the USB camera using ros bag.

  • Start IMU node:

  • Start the camera node:

  • Save the ROS2 data:

  • Wait for 30 seconds and terminate the program using Ctrl+C.

  • Copy the resultant file to your host machine. File name will be in the ros2 bag output and will look like rosbag2_2024_03_30-09_09_00.

  • In Foxglove Studio select Open local file… and open the obtained file with .db3 extension.

You can replay your data in Foxglove Studio now:

You can modify the replay speed with the speed control feature and view values at any time point by clicking on the time axis: