NatNet SDK Linux support and licensing

NatNet, VRPN, TrackD, and Plugins
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matthew
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:47 pm

NatNet SDK Linux support and licensing

Post by matthew » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:11 pm

In the NatNet SDK 3.0.0 User's Guide, it says "Supported Platforms: ... Linux: 64-bit. Ships in SO format." Where can I find these Linux binaries?

I'm trying to build a ROS client for NatNet 3, since the existing open-source solutions are not very good. Depending on whether I can use the SDK itself on Linux, I intend to base my work on either the basic SDK sample client or the direct depacketization example. I would like to release my work as open source software, but I am unclear about the legal requirements for doing so. What license are the NatNet SDK sample and binaries available under? Am I allowed to redistribute them? Am I allowed to make derivative works and distribute those, and if so what license can I distribute them under? Am I allowed to document the NatNet protocol based on the samples and distribute that documentation?

It would be great if the samples were available under a permissive license like BSD. It would be even better if the SDK source was available, but permission to distribute the SDK binaries would be enough if that is not possible.

Cheers,
Matthew :)

steven.andrews
NaturalPoint Employee
NaturalPoint Employee
Posts: 466
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:52 am

Re: NatNet SDK Linux support and licensing

Post by steven.andrews » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:44 am

Hi Matthew,

Unfortunately, the Linux support mentioned in the documentation appears to be incorrect. We updated all of our online documentation but must have missed the PDF that is included with the SDK. We will be updating our documentation to remove that misinformation.

We do not directly support the Linux environment, so direct depacketization would be the way to go. This method is a little more susceptible to changes in Motive's data stream, so you will need to be mindful of the version of NatNet and Motive that your application is developed on.

In general, you are free to develop and distribute your applications made with the NatNet SDK. For more licensing specifics, you will need to reach out to us directly.

Thanks,
Steven
--
Steven Andrews
OptiTrack | Senior Customer Support Engineer
help.naturalpoint.com
support@optitrack.com

matthew
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:47 pm

Re: NatNet SDK Linux support and licensing

Post by matthew » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:27 pm

Hi Steven,

Thanks for clarifying that. In the end I've just reimplemented everything myself from scratch, so the licensing issue doesn't affect me any more.

Having said that though: given that basically everyone in UAV research and robotics uses Linux, it does seem a bit counter-intuitive that you're alienating a whole customer segment. Why don't you follow Intel's example (with their Realsense camera SDK) and open-source your SDK? That way, instead of your customers producing a wasteland of abandoned or half-finished third-party projects (e.g. ros-drivers/mocap-optitrack, rocketman768/NatNetLinux, crigroup/optitrack, astanin/python-opti-rx, neuroneuro15/natnetclient, and mkilling/PyNatNet), we could just extend your library to meet our needs and contribute back our changes.

Cheers,
Matthew :)

jgoppert
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:12 pm

Re: NatNet SDK Linux support and licensing

Post by jgoppert » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:19 pm

I also would like to see native ubuntu linux suppoprt. I just ordered a new system for an robotics application with ROS, it would make my life a lot easier.

@mathew, what would your recommend for setting up my system. Do I need to get a windows laptop setup to make this work or is there enough software to make this all work natively in ubuntu linux? If so, what software do you recommend?

matthew
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:47 pm

Re: NatNet SDK Linux support and licensing

Post by matthew » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:02 pm

@jgoppert There are two open-source ROS packages we've used in the past: mocap_optitrack and vrpn_client_ros (not ros_vrpn_client, which is abandoned). Mocap_optitrack crashes a lot. so we've given up on it. vrpn_client_ros works well but doesn't stream individual marker positions, so I'm working on my own client at the moment.

Just so we're clear: you definitely need a Windows PC to run Motive and I don't imagine any third-party solutions will appear for that in the future, but running Linux on your robot is perfectly doable.

prathamoza
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 1:39 pm

Re: NatNet SDK Linux support and licensing

Post by prathamoza » Wed May 16, 2018 1:44 pm

I'm trying to do the same with my Motive 2.0.1 setup and ROS kinetic on a linux machine. I need to get individually labelled marker data from optitrack setup. None of the suggestions seem to be working for me. Has there been any updates in the situation? `mocap_optitrack` crashes with `bad_alloc()` error and I read that `vrpn_client` wont work for individual markers. Any help would be appreciated.

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