Blickfeld ROS package

This package provides an ROS node and a nodelet for publishing PointCloud2 messages from Blickfeld LiDAR devices.
The driver is not yet available publicly. Please request the sources from the Blickfeld Sales department.

Supported devices

The Blickfeld ROS driver supports all currently available Blickfeld LiDARs, such as Cube 1 and Cube Range 1.

Supported ROS Distributions

The Blickfeld ROS driver supports the following distributions

  • ROS Melodic Morenia (Ubuntu 18.04)

  • ROS Noetic Ninjemys (Ubuntu 20.04)


To install the Blickfeld ROS driver, please make sure that the following dependencies are installed on your system.

  • blickfeld-scanner-library (BSL) with system-wide protobuf installation. This package has been tested using BSL Version 2.13.0

  • ROS Melodic Installation with Ubuntu 18.04 / ROS Noetic Installation with Ubuntu 20.04

  • diagnostic_updater can be acquired via your distribution’s package manager, ${ROS_DISTRO} should be your ROS version. (e.g. melodic or noetic)

    $ sudo apt install ros-${ROS_DISTRO}-diagnostic-updater
    $ sudo apt install ros-${ROS_DISTRO}-diagnostic-msgs

    or via

    $ rosdep update
    $ rosdep install --from-paths src --ignore-src -r -y


Before building ensure that your ROS DISTRO is sourced. You will need to run this command on every new shell you open to have access to the ROS commands. ${ROS_DISTRO} should be your ROS version. (e.g. melodic or noetic)

$ source /opt/ros/${ROS_DISTRO}/setup.bash

To build the ROS driver, request the ROS driver from the Blickfeld Sales department and decompress the archive into your ROS catkin workspace.


$ catkin build

or respectively

$ catkin build blickfeld_driver

You may use catkin_make instead of catkin build as well.

Running the Blickfeld ROS node

You can start the Blickfeld driver as either a node or a nodelet. For the node, you can use the launch file

$ live_scanner.launch

and for the nodelet, the

$ live_scanner_nodelet.launch

is provided.

You can launch the ROS driver in a DHCP controlled Network by providing the Hostname of the LiDAR device (you can check and set the Hostname in the WebGUI of the device) (Make sure you have sourced your workspace) e.g.:

$ roslaunch blickfeld_driver live_scanner.launch host:=cube-0028

or respectively

$ roslaunch blickfeld_driver live_scanner_nodelet.launch host:=cube-0028  

You should now be able to see a PointCloud2 in Rviz on the /bf_lidar/points_raw topic.

If you connect the LiDAR directly to your PC or don’t have a DHCP Server you can launch the driver by using the IP configured in the WebGUI of the Device or the Fallback-IP of the Device
(Make sure you sourced your workspace and adjusted your network-settings accordingly) e.g.:

$ roslaunch blickfeld_driver live_scanner.launch host:=

or respectively

$ roslaunch blickfeld_driver live_scanner_nodelet.launch host:=

By default we do not start RViz, set the rviz parameter to true if you want to start RViz with the Blickfeld ROS driver:

$ roslaunch blickfeld_driver live_scanner.launch host:= rviz:=true

See the table with all available Parameters and there default configuration.


Both launch files have arguments you can use:

Argument Default Note
host (required) The host name or the IP of the device you want to publish the point clouds from, e.g., cube-0028,
node_name bf_lidar Name of this ROS node.
point_cloud_out $(arg node_name)/points_raw Topic to publish the PointCloud2 message to.
remap true Remap this node’s input/output topics to commonly used ones.
If false, canonical names in the form of $(arg node_name)/foo_(in/out) are used, depending on whether a topic is an input or and output topic.
lidar_frame_id lidar The ROS TF where the point cloud should be in.
rviz false Start rviz if this argument is true.
use_lidar_timestamp true Set to true if the timestamp in the ROS point cloud message should be generated from the device timestamp; otherwise the timestamp will be the ROS time when the frame was received on ROS.
publish_intensities true Set to true if the PointCloud2 message should contain intensities.
publish_ambient_light false Set to true if the PointCloud2 message should contain the ambient light level.
publish_explicit_range false Set to true if the PointCloud2 message should contain the range field.
publish_no_return_points false Set to true if the PointCloud2 message should contain points in a given range for pulses without a return.
no_return_point_range 1.0 Dummy range for points of pulses without a return.
returns_publishing_options strongest different options to publish multiple returns, possible values are: strongest first last and all, in case of all, the field return_id (ID for each returned point) is added to the point cloud.
publish_time_delta false If true, the PointCloud2 message will contain the timestamp field per point to represent the time offset from the start of the frame.
publish_point_id false Add the scanline_id field, the scanline_point_index field (= the point’s number in the scan line), and the point_id (= frame-global point ID) to PointCloud2 message.
If the device is configured to return multiple return points (multiple reflections), all these three IDs will be identical; only the return_id will differ.


This package is released under a BSD 3-Clause License (see also