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Ouster LiDAR

This tutorial will guide you through the process of connecting and using Ouster LiDAR sensor on your rover. This tutorial will use Ouster OS0, however the integration process is the same for other models such as OS1 and OS2.

Light Detection and Ranging devices, or Lidars for short, are mechanisms used for mapping the environment, object detection, tracking the speed of vehicles and in a wide range of other applications. Ouster devices excel at 3D scanning near-range distances within dense, cluttered environments. The OS2 has a range of 100 m, and the sensor's light weight (522 g), compact footprint (~Ø87 mm x 58 mm), and 90 degree vertical field of view make it ideal not only for autonomous vehicles but also robotics and mobile 3D mapping applications.

What to expect?

After finishing the tutorial you will have configured the Ouster LiDAR to work on your rover. You will be able to gather and visualize the data from the sensor.


📄Connect via SSH
Learn how to establish an SSH connection with your Leo Rover and access its terminal using Putty or OpenSSH.
📄Connect to a local network and the Internet
Learn how to connect your Leo Rover to a local network and the internet to download files and forward internet to your computer.
📄Install ROS on your computer
Learn how to install the Robot Operating System (ROS) on your computer. Step-by-step guide for beginners.
📄ROS Development
Detailed guide on ROS development for Leo Rover, covering topics like adding additional functionalities, building ROS packages and more.

Mechanical integration

Work in progress

Wiring and electronics connection

Work in progress

Software integration

Setting up the Ouster sensor on the rover

Make sure that the sensor is properly plugged in and the ethernet cable is connected to the ethernet port on the rover's Raspberry Pi.

Now the sensor will get an IP assigned by rover's DHCP server. However the device will associate this IP address with custom hostname, which is os-sensor_serial_number (e.g. os-111222333444). You can find the serial number on top of your sensor. Alternatively you can scan the QR code that you can find on your device to get information about the serial number.

To ensure that the device has been connected successfully you can enter Ouster sensor dashboard. To do so open your browser of choice on a computer connected to rover's WiFi and go to address: os-sensor_serial_number.local


For more information about the sensor web interface visit Ouster Docs.

On this page you can view information about the device and configure it. This tutorial doesn't require changing anything in this configuration.


If you wish to change Ouster sensor configuration, you can do so later - when configuring ROS node, as this node can overwrite some changes made inside the web interface.

ROS software installation

Ensure that your rover is connected to the internet.

Make sure that system date is correct by writing this command in the terminal.


If the date is not correct you can set it to current date. Replace YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS with current date and time e.g. 2023-01-31 09:00:00.

sudo date -s 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS'

Next make sure that all your packages are up to date.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Now you can install all required dependencies.

sudo apt install -y       \
build-essential \
libeigen3-dev \
libjsoncpp-dev \
libspdlog-dev \
libcurl4-openssl-dev \

If you haven' t already, setup a ROS workspace.

mkdir -p ~/catkin_ws/src
cd ~/catkin_ws
catkin init

Go to the src directory in your workspace and clone a repository with Ouster ROS driver and SDK.

cd ~/catkin_ws/src
git clone --recurse-submodules

Next to compile the driver you need to source the ROS environment into the active terminal. Replace <ros-distro> with your ROS version e.g. noetic.

source /opt/ros/<ros-distro>/setup.bash

You can now build your workspace.

cd ~/catkin_ws
catkin build --cmake-args -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -- -j1 -l1

In order to achieve better driver performance, the packages are built with Release build type flag. This results in a longer build time that can take up to several minutes.

Running Ouster driver ROS node

To run the node first source the workspace.

source ~/catkin_ws/devel/setup.bash

Then you can launch the driver. Remember to enter the correct hostname with your sensor's serial number.

roslaunch ouster_ros driver.launch sensor_hostname:=os-xxxxxxxxxxxx viz:=false

If you get an error while launching the node, make sure that the hostname has been properly set. To do that you can try: ping os-xxxxxxxxxxxx. If you get a Name or service not known error, try unplugging the sensor ethernet cable and plugging it back in.


For more information on ouster driver and parameter details head to this GitHub page.

Adding Ouster sensor to URDF

Your robot should be aware of where the sensor is located and what space it occupies. You can ensure it does that by creating an URDF model file of the sensor in /etc/ros/urdf directory.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<joint name="ouster_mount_joint" type="fixed">
<parent link="base_link"/>
<child link="ouster_base_link"/>
<origin xyz="0.0705 0 0"/>

<link name="ouster_base_link" />

<joint name="ouster_base_to_baseplate" type="fixed">
<parent link="ouster_base_link"/>
<child link="ouster_baseplate" />
<origin xyz="0 0 0.0045"/>

<link name="ouster_baseplate">
<box size="0.087 0.095 0.009" />
<material name="silver">
<color rgba="0.5 0.5 0.5 1.0" />
<box size="0.087 0.095 0.009" />

<joint name="ouster_baseplate_to_body" type="fixed">
<parent link="ouster_baseplate"/>
<child link="os_sensor"/>
<origin xyz="0 0 0.042" rpy="0 0 0" />

<link name="os_sensor">
<mass value="0.33"/>
<origin xyz="0 0 0.0365" rpy="0 0 0" />
<inertia ixx="0.000241148" ixy="0" ixz="0"
iyy="0.000241148" iyz="0" izz="0.000264"/>
<collision name="base_collision">
<origin xyz="0 0 0" rpy="0 0 0" />
<cylinder radius="0.04" length="0.073"/>
<visual name="base_visual">
<origin xyz="0 0 0" rpy="0 0 0" />
<cylinder radius="0.04" length="0.073"/>

<link name="os_imu" />

<link name="os_lidar" />

<joint name="os_imu_link_joint" type="fixed">
<parent link="os_sensor" />
<child link="os_imu" />
<origin xyz="0.006253 -0.011775 0.007645" rpy="0 0 0" />

<joint name="os_lidar_link_joint" type="fixed">
<parent link="os_sensor" />
<child link="os_lidar" />
<origin xyz="0.0 0.0 0.03618" rpy="0 0 0" />

And including it inside the <robot> tag in the description file that is uploaded at boot.

<xacro:include filename="/etc/ros/urdf/ouster.urdf.xacro"/>

You can experiment with the URDF file and create a more representative model of the sensor by adding more visual and collision tags or by including meshes in STL or COLLADA format. You can find the Ouster description files here.

The last step is to either reboot the robot or restart the leo service.

sudo systemctl restart leo

Adding the node to autostart

Open /etc/ros/robot.launch and add below line inside <launch> tag. Remember to enter your device's serial number in sensor_hostname value field.

<include file="$(find ouster_ros)/launch/driver.launch">
<arg name="sensor_hostname" value="os-xxxxxxxxxxxx" />
<arg name="viz" value="false" />

Next, open /etc/ros/setup.bash and below source /opt/ros/noetic/setup.bash add:

source /home/pi/catkin_ws/devel/setup.bash

Now you can reboot the robot or restart the leo service

sudo systemctl restart leo


If the node is running, the robot should publish the PointCloud2 messages on the /ouster/points topic. You can check the raw data that it sends by typing:

rostopic echo /ouster/points

If you have ROS installed on your computer, you can get a more graphical representation of the data with RViz. If you don't have ROS, you can follow this guide:

📄Install ROS on your computer
Learn how to install the Robot Operating System (ROS) on your computer. Step-by-step guide for beginners.

Before starting RViz, make sure you completed the Connecting another computer to ROS network section of ROS Development tutorial:

📄ROS Development
Detailed guide on ROS development for Leo Rover, covering topics like adding additional functionalities, building ROS packages and more.

Now, open RViz by typing rviz in the terminal, or, if you have the leo_viz package installed, type:

roslaunch leo_viz rviz.launch

This will start RViz with visualization of the current robot model.

In Global Options change Fixed Frame to os_lidar.

On the Displays panel click Add -> By topic and search for the /ouster/points topic. Choose the PointCloud2 display and click Ok.

Visualized pointcloud should look like this:

What next?

Lidars are commonly used in projects involving autonomous navigation, you might be interested in a tutorial about it.

They are however, not the only way of teaching a Leo Rover how to move on it's own. Check out our line follower tutorial if you want to learn more. You can also check our Integrations page for more instructions.