Adding a new datastream handler

Datastream handlers allow you to transform the internal MORSE model into the serialization form expected by your specific architecture.

Here, we explain how to add a custom handler for a specific message, for when there is already some infrastructure for your middleware in MORSE.

If you want to implement a completely new middleware, refer to Adding the support for a new middleware to MORSE.

Adding a new datastream handler : generic part

Adding a new datastream handler is a matter of implementing a new class which derives from morse.middleware.abstract_datastream.AbstractDatastream.

The only mandatory method to specialize is the default method which contains the actual serialization or deserialization routine. In this method, you can use to access to the local_data field of the associated component.

It can also be useful to override the initialize and finalize methods, which contain the initialisation code, and the finalisation code. Do not override __init__ and __del__.

Lastly, you can set the _type_name field, and the _type_url field to specify which type is imported (or exported) with this datastream handler, and where to find some documentation about it.

Let’s see an example with a custom socket handler.

from morse.middleware.abstract_datastream import AbstractDatastream

class MyPoseExporter(AbstractDatastream):
    _type_name = 'a list x, y, z'

    def initialize(self):
        """ initialization part, creating the socket, binding ... """
        self.s = socket(...)
        # ...

    def finalize(self):
        """ called when we have finished, cleanup resource ... """

    def default(self, ci = 'unused'):
        """" place where occur the real encoding """
        my_repr = []

Now, you can test your new datastream handler directly in the builder:

from morse.builder import *

atrv = ATRV()

pose = Pose()
pose.add_stream('socket', '')

env = Environment('empty', fastmode=True)

Lastly, if you want to use it more easily, you can add some entries in

Adding a new datastream handler : specifics

Generally speaking, the code to send or receive a message is the same for all of a particular middleware’s datastreams, and so it is often shared. In this section, we outline the specifics of each middleware, which make it easier to write a datastream handler for it.

Text middleware text

Text middleware only supports sensors output. It provides a base class morse.middleware.text_datastream.BasePublisher which deals properly with file handling, name selection, etc. To write a specific text handler, you want to derive from this base class and reimplement the header method (what to write in the head of the file) and the encode_data method (how to write data in the file).

from morse.middleware.text_datastream import BasePublisher

class MyTextPoseExporter(BasePublisher):
    _type_name = 'a list x, y, z'

    def header(self):
        return 'x, y, z'

    def encode_data(self):
        my_repr = []
        return ', '.join(my_repr)

Socket middleware socket

Socket middleware provides two base classes morse.middleware.socket_datastream.SocketReader for actuators, and morse.middleware.socket_datastream.SocketPublisher for sensors. These base classes deal in a generic way about socket creation, client handling, sending and receiving messages. You just need to override the decode method (respectively encode method) to provide a custom encoder.

from morse.middleware.socket_datastream import SocketPublisher

class MySocketPoseExporter(SocketPublisher):
    _type_name = 'a list x, y, z'

    def encode(self):
        my_repr = []
        return ', '.join(my_repr)

Yarp middleware yarp

Yarp middleware includes morse.middleware.yarp_datastream.YarpPort which provides basic encapsulation of the Yarp protocol. A specialized class morse.middleware.yarp_datastream.YarpPublisher provides facilities to send content through a Yarp::Bottle. If you want to use this transport, you can override the method morse.middleware.yarp_datastream.YarpPublisher.encode() to provide specialized behaviour.

from morse.middleware.yarp_datastream import YarpPublisher

class MyYarpPoseExporter(YarpPublisher):

    def encode(self, bottle):

Ros middleware ros

Ros middleware provides two useful base classes: morse.middleware.ros.abstract_ros.ROSSubscriber for actuators, and morse.middleware.ros.abstract_ros.ROSPublisher for sensors. In particular, they provide some facilities to manage topics. If you use these classes, you do not need to define _type_name or _type_url, but instead must set ros_class, from which the _type_name and _type_url will automatically be derived. If you write a Reader, you need to override the morse.middleware.ros.abstract_ros.ROSSubscriber.update() method, which takes a message and must modify accordingly. For a Publisher, you need to override the inherited default method. Don’t forget to call self.publish(msg) otherwise nothing will happen.

from morse.middleware.ros import ROSPublisher
from std_msgs.msg import String

class MyRosPoseExporter(ROSPublisher):
    ros_class = String

    def default(self, ci='unused'):
        my_repr = []
        msg = String(', '.join(my_repr))

Pocolibs middleware pocolibs

Pocolibs middleware provides morse.middleware.pocolibs_datastream.PocolibsDataStreamOutput for sensors, and morse.middleware.pocolibs_datastream.PocolibsDataStreamInput for actuators, and which deal with the low-level details of Pocolibs. To write a custom encoder, you need to subclass the correct class, and override both the initialize and default methods. In initialize, remember to call the parent class’ initialize method with the desired type. In the default method, remember to call read or write as appropriate.


Structures imported by the pocolibs interface use ctypes. Please read the ctype documentation properly to avoid strange things happening.

from morse.middleware.pocolibs_datastream import *
from pom.struct import *

class MyPocolibsPoseExporter(PocolibsDataStreamOutput)
    _type_name = "POM_POS"

    def initialize(self):
        PocolibsDataStreamOutput.initialize(self, POM_POS)

        # Initialise the object
        self.obj = POM_POS()
        # ...

    def default(self, ci):
        self.obj.mainToOrigin.euler.x ='x', 0.0)
        self.obj.mainToOrigin.euler.y ='y', 0.0)
        self.obj.mainToOrigin.euler.z ='z', 0.0)
        # ...

Moos middleware moos

Moos middleware interface provides two base classes: morse.middleware.moos.abstract_moos.MOOSNotifier, and morse.middleware.moos.abstract_moos.MOOSSubscriber. The first MOOSNotifier can be used for sensors to notify MOOSDB of new data, the second MOOSSubscriber can be used for actuators to receive data from the MOOSDB.

When writing a MOOSNotifier subclass, you need to override the default() method to do the publications:

from morse.middleware.moos import MOOSNotifier

class ExampleNotifier(MOOSNotifier):
    """ Example of MOOSNotifier """

    def default(self, ci='unused'):
        self.notify('MORSE_TEST', 'true')

When writing a MOOSSubscriber subclass, you need to override the initialize() method to be able to register properly and create the proper callback:

from morse.middleware.moos import MOOSSubscriber

class ExampleSubscriber(MOOSSubscriber):
    """ Example of MOOSSubscriber """

    def initialize(self):
        # initialize the parent class
        # register and set callback
                          'example_queue', self.on_msg)

    def on_msg(self, msg):'ExampleSubscriber.on_msg received %s with val= %s'%(
              msg.key(), msg.string()))

HLA middleware hla

HLA middleware provides several facilities, i.e. morse.middleware.hla.abstract_hla.AbstractHLAOutput for sensors, and morse.middleware.hla.abstract_hla.AbstractHLAInput for actuators, to deal with common HLA stuff. Important for HLA datastream handlers is the _hla_name, which defines the name desired / expected from the federation. The default name is the robot parent name. Otherwise, the structure of a HLA actuator datastream handler looks like:

from morse.middleware.hla.message_buffer import MessageBufferReader
from morse.middleware.hla.abstract_hla import AbstractHLAInput

class CertiTestInput(AbstractHLAInput):
    def initialize(self):

        # Grab handler to objects and attribute handles
        bille_handle = self.amb.object_handle('Bille')

        self.handle_x = self.amb.attribute_handle("PositionX", bille_handle)
        self.handle_y = self.amb.attribute_handle("PositionY", bille_handle)

        self.suscribe_attributes(bille_handle, [self.handle_x, self.handle_y])

    def default(self, ci = 'unused'):
        attributes = self.get_attributes()

        # Check if we receives attributes
        if attributes and attributes[self.handle_x] and attributes[self.handle_y]:
            # Decode the attributes
            x = MessageBufferReader(attributes[self.handle_x]).read_double()
            y = MessageBufferReader(attributes[self.handle_y]).read_double()

On the other side, the initialize is quite symmetric (i.e. get handles over objects and attributes, and then publish them. The construction of the output is done in the following way:

class CertiTestOutput(AbstractHLAOutput):
    def default(self, ci = 'unused'):
        to_send = {self.handle_x: MessageBufferWriter().write_double(['x']),
                   self.handle_y: MessageBufferWriter().write_double(['y'])}