Creating new Standards

FIROS now allows to implement custom standards to do multiple publications of data on multiple platforms with only one instance. In order to write a new standard, where the ROS-Messages are transformed in your standard and vice-versa, you need to think about the following:

  • Think of a name for your standard. In this example we choose testbroker
  • Does your standard need any Configuration to work porperly? A server might need an address or port. Or if you simply want to save all received messages along on the hard drive, you might want to consider adding a filename.
  • Is your standard programmatically callable? And is it possible that in return it notifies you about changes, which you might want to translate back into the ROS-World?

The following subchapters will give you a brief guide on how to create a custom Publisher and Subscriber for FIROS. An example Implementation can already be found in FIROS: the contextbroker-standard!


After creating the standards name you can directly go ahead and create the folder in firos/include/pubsub/ with your standards name. This is crucial, since FIROS only looks inside the pubsub-folder for new standards and recognizes them by the name you named your folder. In this example we created the folder examplePubSub.

Note: Do not forget to also add a inside this folder, since Python needs this file in order to Import other files inside this folder.

Adding Configuration-Parameters

With the new Folder you created, you are now able to add Configuration-Parameters specifically for each Publisher and Subscriber inside this folder. Here is an example for specific Parameters for the examplePubSub-Standard:

    "environment": "local",
    "local": {
        "server": {
            "port": 10100
        "contextbroker": {
            "address": "localhost",
            "port": 1026
        "examplePubSub": {
            "myParam": "SomeString",
            "PortOrSomeInt": 12345
        "log_level": "INFO"

You decide which Parameters should be added and how they are represented in json. Those Parameters can be later retrieved easily and is described further below.

Writing the first Publisher

In this case a Publisher is a class, which publishes received data from the ROS-WORLD and converts and delegates it into the Non-ROS-World (your custom Standard). The file contains an abstract class Publisher which you just need to inherit from. Create a Python-file in your newly created folder (you can name it as you like) and add the following content:

from include.pubsub.genericPubSub import Publisher

class SomeExamplePublisher(Publisher):

    def __init__(self):

    def publish(self, topic, rawMsg, msgDefinitions):

    def unpublish(self):

The Publisher is the easiest part to write, since the methods publish and unpublish (which need to be implemented) are called automatically by FIROS. The publish-method is called once, every time FIROS receives a new Message. For more details and what each Parameter contains, please follow the comments in the contextbroker-standard.

The unpublish-method is called once. Exactly then, when FIROS wants to shut down. Does your standard need to know that FIROS is shutting down? Then implement this appropriately!

The self-instance also contains your custom described configuration and can be accessed via : self.configData. NOTE It returns None if nothing was specified.

Writing the first Subscriber

The Subscriber does the opposite of a Publisher. It receives Messages from the Non-ROS-World and translate them back into the ROS-World. Similar to the Publisher you also need to implement the abstract class Subscriber as follows:

from include.pubsub.genericPubSub import Subscriber
from include.ros.topicHandler import RosTopicHandler

class SomeExampleSubscriber(Subscriber):

    def __init__(self):

    def subscribe(self, topicList, msgDefinitions):

    def unsubscribe(self):

The Subscriber is more trickier. Here the subscribe method gets only called once during start up (or multiple times during a restart, which may happen!). You need to write a mechanism inside the method subscribe, so that your standard is able to contact FIROS.

The contextbroker-standard achieves this via creating a very own HTTPServer in a new Thread, which listens on a specific port, where the actual Context-Broker can message it with updates. But receiving Messages from the standard is not enough to actually publish them onto the ROS-World.

The received Messages need to be converted into a special class which can be directly retrieved from the ObjectFiwareConverter . Also the Message-Definitions (msgDefintions) might help.

After the received Message is converted correctly, you can publish it via:

RosTopicHandler.publish(topic, convertedData, dataStruct):

and it should be published in the ROS-World automatically!

You might also consider the context-broker-standard Implementation, which is well documented.

As in Publisher, the unsubscribe-method is called during shut down. If your standard needs some special shut down routine implement it here.

NOTE The self-instance here also contains your custom described configuration and can be accessed via : self.configData. It returns None if nothing was specified!


The standards you want to implement need to be at the at the root of you standard-folder. E. g. firos/include/pubsub/YOUR_STANDARD/ If they are located in subfolders, they won't be imported and executed.

It is possible to write mulitple Publishers and multiple Subscribers in one custom standard. A standard does not necessarily needs a Publisher AND a Subscriber. It is up to you, what you want to publish/subscribe

You can also customly name your Publish/Subscribe-class.