It is often convenient to test a planner through either the OMPL.app GUI or by using a minimal Python program that defines a simple motion planning problem of interest. In both cases you need to create Python bindings for your planner. At a high level, the steps are:
- Update the Python binding generation code
- Optionally, provide hints for planner parameter ranges that can then be used to create the appropriate controls in the OMPL.app GUI.
- Please note that it is difficult to create Python bindings for multi-threaded planners. The problem is that only one thread at a time can access the Python interpreter. If a user creates an instance of a Python class derived from, e.g., ompl::base::StateValidityChecker or ompl::control::StatePropagator, the C++ code may call the Python interpreter simultaneously from multiple threads. In this case you need to modify you planner so that when called from Python it always runs in a single thread. In some cases, such as the ompl::geometric::PRM planner, this can be difficult. For PRM we wrote a special single-threaded version of the solve function (see
ompl/py-bindings/PRM.SingleThreadSolve.cpp) that is used in the Python bindings instead of the default multi-threaded solve method.
To create python bindings for your planner, it is easiest if you add the C++ implementation of your planner to
ompl/src/ompl/geometric/planners (if your planner is a purely geometric planner) or to
ompl/src/ompl/control/planners (if your planner is a control-based planner).
The first step in generating bindings is to add the header file name(s) for your planner to the list of files that need to be processed by the python binding generation script. For geometric planning this list is stored in
ompl/py-bindings/headers_geometric.txt, while for control-based planning this list is stored in
ompl/py-bindings/headers_control.txt. The order of the file names in this list matters: if your header file includes other files in the list, it should be added below those files.
The next step is to regenerate the python bindings. It safest to remove the old ones first. Go to your build directory and type the following commands:
make clean_bindings make -j 3 update_bindings
If something went wrong, the errors will be listed in pyplusplus_geometric.log and pyplusplus_control.log. If Py++ produces errors for methods that are not really needed at the Python level, you can explicitly exclude them in
The OMPL Planner class has a method called ompl::base::Planner::declareParam to define parameters that can be changed by the user. It is highly recommended that you use this method for all your planner parameters. It is possible to specify a suggested range of values as an optional argument to ompl::Planner::declareParam. This range will be used by the OMPL.app GUI to create the appropriate control widgets, so that users can change the parameter values through the GUI. See ompl::base::GenericParam::rangeSuggestion_ for the syntax used to specify parameter ranges.