Dynamic Configurations

The Publisher for Configured Devices is a ROS package that will be deployed on a device, which is configured based on a set of parameters like name, location, velocity, etc.

Learning objective

The tutorial will show you how to apply configuration parameters to a device before deploying a rapyuta.io package on it.


  1. Device requirements
    1. You should have access to a device (computer or Raspberry PI 2 or 3) with an internet connection.
    2. Ensure that the Google Chrome browser is installed on the computer.
    3. Ensure that the ROS Kinetic Kame is installed on the device.

      If the device has ROS Melodic Morenia installed on it, replace Kinetic with Melodic in all places where a specific version of ROS is asked for. The tutorial should still work the same.

  2. You should be familiar with the configurations concept.
  3. Read the quick starting guide on how to apply configurations to devices.
  4. You should be familiar with the following tools:
    1. Git
    2. UNIX/Linux command terminal



Estimated time

15 minutes

Tutorial walkthrough

The tutorial consists of the below steps:

  1. Define a configuration
  2. Prepare a device
  3. Add the device to rapyuta.io
  4. Apply configuration parameters to the device
  5. Add a ROS package to rapyuta.io
  6. Deploy the package on the device
  7. Verify deployment logs

Defining configuration

You will define the configuration robots as follows:

  1. On the left navigation bar, click CONFIGURATIONS.
  3. Provide a name, say, robots for the configuration in the Configuration Name box.
  4. Click CONFIRM.
  5. Add a new file, name.yaml, below the root node robots.
  6. Define parameters in the name.yaml.

    Refer to the quick starting guide on how to define parameters.

    robots configuration

Similarly, define parameters in all of the name.yaml files occurring below the various value nodes and the root node. For example,

  • robots root node robots parameter file
  • drone value node drone parameter file
  • drone-1 value node drone-1 parameter file

Preparing device

The tutorial will use Raspberry PI as the device. Learn how to prepare the device.

If you are using the custom rapyuta.io image on the device, you need to execute the following command to update the io_tutorials repository at the root of your catkin workspace.

git pull https://github.com/rapyuta/io_tutorials

To build the package, run the below command at the root of your catkin workspace.

catkin build param_talker

Adding device to rapyuta.io

When onboarding the device to rapyuta.io the environment variable RIO_CONFIGS_DIR is set locally on the device. It is the location of the directory where all of the configurations that will be applied to the device are stored.

The value of RIO_CONFIGS_DIR is set to /opt/rapyuta/configs

configuration environment variable

RIO_CONFIGS_DIR is available to all the executables of a running deployment.

Applying configuration to device

You should define labels for the device so you can apply configuration parameters to it. You will define the following labels in this tutorial:

  • robot_type: drone
  • robot_name: drone-1

device labels

To apply an existing configuration to the device:

  1. On the left navigation bar, click DEVICES.
  2. Select the device you would want to apply the configuration to.
  3. Click Apply Configuration Parameters. apply configuration parameters
  4. Click CONFIRM APPLY. confirm configuration parameters application

The set of device labels (robot_type: drone, robot_name: drone-1) are resolved to select the drone-1/name.yaml file, and thus, apply the below configuration parameters:

    first_name: Drone 1.0
    last_name: RDrone

Had you given a device label say robot_type: drone, rapyuta.io would traverse the configuration tree, select the drone/name.yaml file and apply the configuration parameters found in the file. Similarly, if no device label is defined, name.yaml file will be selected for the application of configuration parameters defined in the file.

You may apply more than one configuration to a single device.

The robots configuration is stored in RIO_CONFIGS_DIR and its parameters file name.yaml is stored in the robots (corresponding configuration) directory as shown in the figure below. robots configuration directory

configuration parameters file

You can use RIO_CONFIGS_DIR in ROS launch files for loading configurations. configuration environment variable in ROS launch file

You can remotely access RIO_CONFIGS_DIR by SSH-ing into the device via rapyuta.io SSH access

Creating the package

To create the Publisher for Configured Devices package, follow the steps:

  1. On the left navigation bar, click CATALOG.
  3. Provide a name for the package say Publisher for Configured Devices in the Package Name box.
  4. Make sure Is singleton package is not selected.
  5. Ensure Is a bindable package is indeed selected.
  6. In the Description box, provide a summary of the package, say, Demo package to illustrate configuration parameters concept
  7. Click NEXT.
  8. In the Component Name box, enter a name for the component say parameter_talker.
  9. Select Device for Component Runtime.
  10. Ensure Is ROS Component is selected.
  11. Ensure the ROS Version is Kinetic.
  12. In the Executable Name box, enter a name for the executable say talker_executable.
  13. Select Default for Executable Type.
  14. Enter the following command in the Command to run in the docker container box. roslaunch param_talker talker.launch
  15. Click NEXT > CONFIRM PACKAGE CREATION. publisher for configured devices

Deploying the package

To deploy the Publisher for Configured Devices package, follow the steps:

  1. On the left navigation bar, click CATALOG.
  2. Select the Publisher for Configured Devices package.
  3. Click Deploy package.
  4. Provide a name for the deployment you are creating say Configurations Publisher in the Name of deployment box.
  5. Since parameter_talker has device runtime, you must select the device you want to deploy the component on. Click Refresh the list of online devices to retrieve an updated list of online devices.
  6. Select the device from the Select device for deploying the component drop-down list.
  7. For the parameter_talker component, ensure that ros_workspace and ros_distro are selected.
  8. Click CREATE DEPLOYMENT > Confirm.

You will be redirected to the newly created deployment’s Details page. The Configurations Publisher is successfully running when the green colored bar moves to Succeeded and Status:Running point indicating that the DEPLOYMENT PHASE is Succeeded and the STATUS is Running.

Configurations Publisher

Verifying deployment logs

You may verify the correctness of the tutorial by analyzing the corresponding deployment logs by clicking on the Historical Logs.

The historical logs will display the output as shown:

hello Drone 1.0 RDrone

The output contains values of the first_name and last_name parameters for the drone-1 device. Successful deployment logs

Your output may be different based on the device labels you define.