YARP  2.3.68+218-20170316.1+git3050aeb
Yet Another Robot Platform
yarpdatadumper: the YARP data recorder

Acquires and stores Bottles or Images and Videos from a YARP port.

Copyright (C) 2010 RobotCub Consortium

Author: Ugo Pattacini

Date: first release 2008/05/16

CopyPolicy: Released under the terms of the GNU GPL v2.0.


When launched, the service monitors the presence of incoming data (bottles or images) and stores it within a folder called with the same name as the service port (or with a proper suffix appended if other data is present in the current path). In this folder the file 'data.log' contains the information (taken from the envelope field of the port) line by line as follows:

[pck id] [time stamp] [bottle content (or image_file_name)]
0 1.234 0 1 2 3 ...
1 1.235 4 5 6 7 ...
... ... ...

Note that if the envelope is not valid, then the Time Stamp is the reference time of the machine where the service is running. Anyway, a selection between these two Time Stamps is available for the user through –rxTime option.

Moreover, a file called 'info.log' is produced containing information about the data type stored within the 'data.log' file as well as the name of the yarp ports connected or disconnected to the dumper, as in the following:

Type: [Bottle; | Image; | Image; Video:ext(huffyuv);]
[local-timestamp] /yarp-port-name [connected]
[local-timestamp] /yarp-port-name [disconnected]

Finally, a further file called 'timecodes.log' is also generated together with the video, which contains the timecode associated to each frame given in millisecond precision. The file content looks like the following:

# timecode format v2

This is useful to recover the exact timing while post-processing the video relying for example on the mkvmerge tool:

mkvmerge -o out.mkv --timecodes 0:timecodes.log video.mkv

To get mkvmerge do: sudo apt-get install mkvtoolnix

The module yarpdataplayer: replay recorded data can be used to re-play a dump generated by the yarpdatadumper: the YARP data recorder.


  • To record videos: OpenCV 2.4 and the huffyuv codec for lossless data compression.

Codec Installation

  • Windows: fetch the dll library from the codec website and simply install it.
  • Linux: ffmpeg must be properly installed and recognized by OpenCV. The command "sudo apt-get ffmpeg" seemed not to work. This is a possible alternative procedure:
    1. sudo apt-get install libjpeg62-dev libtiff4-dev libjasper-dev libopenexr-dev libeigen2-dev yasm libfaac-dev libopencore-amrnb-dev libopencore-amrwb-dev libtheora-dev libvorbis-dev libxvidcore-dev
    2. svn checkout svn://svn.ffmpeg.org/ffmpeg/trunk ffmpeg
    3. ./configure –enable-gpl –enable-version3 –enable-nonfree –enable-postproc –enable-libfaac –enable-libopencore-amrnb –enable-libopencore-amrwb –enable-libtheora –enable-libvorbis –enable-libxvid –enable-x11grab –enable-swscale –enable-shared
    4. sudo make install
    5. recompile OpenCV through cmake


–name portname

  • The parameter portname identifies the name of the listening port open by the service; if not specified /dump is assumed. The leading forward slash will be added if not provided.

–connect portname

  • The parameter portname specifies the name of the port to connect the dumper to at launch time (tcp is used).

–dir dirname

  • The parameter dirname serves to specify the storage directory explicitly (relative to the location where the module has been launched from).


  • If this option is specified, then a pre-existing storage directory will be overwritten.

–type datatype

  • The parameter datatype selects the type of items to be stored. It can be bottle, image or video; if not specified bottle is assumed. Note that images are stored using the corresponding file formats. The data type video is available if OpenCV is found and the codec huffyuv is installed.


  • In case images are acquired with this option enabled, a video called 'video.ext' is also produced at the same time. The extension ext is determined by the option videoType. This option is available if OpenCV is found and the codec huffyuv is installed in the system.

–videoType ext

  • If it is required to generate a video, the parameter ext specifies the type of the video container employed. Available types are: mkv (default), avi.

–downsample n

  • With this option it is possible to reduce the storing rate by a factor n, i.e. the parameter n specifies how many items (bottles or images) shall be skipped after one acquisition.


  • With this option it is possible to select which Time Stamp to assign to the dumped data: normally the sender time is the reference, but if this option is enabled, the time of the receiving machine on which the service is running will be the reference. However, even if –rxTime is not selected, the receiver time will be taken as reference in case of invalid message envelope.


  • Regardless of its availability, the sender time stamp will be inserted in the log straightaway. Moreover, if txTime is given in conjunction with the rxTime option (or even if rxTime is not selected but the sender stamp is invalid), then the following format will be adopted for the logged data:
[pck id] [tx stamp] [rx stamp] [message content]

Ports Accessed

The port the service is listening to.

Ports Created

  • <portname> (e.g. /dump)
  • <portname>/rpc which is a remote procedure call port useful to shut down the service remotely by sending to this port the 'quit' command.

Input Data Files


Output Data Files

Within the directory ./<portname> the file data.log is created containing the acquisitions. Besides, if image type has been selected, all the acquired images are also stored. A further file called info.log is also produced containing meta-data relevant for the logging.

Note that in case an acquisition with the same <portname> was previously carried out, an increasing suffix will be appended to the name of the directory.

Configuration Files


Tested OS

Linux and Windows.

Example Instantiation of the Module

By launching the following command:

yarpdatadumper --name /log --type image --downsample 2

the service will create the listening port /log capable of storing images within the subdirectory ./log at a halved rate with respect to the rate of the sender.

Then, by connecting the port to the sender with the usual yarp command

yarp connect /grabber /log

the acquisition will start.

By pressing CTRL+C the acquisition is terminated.

So, now, have a look inside the directory ./log

Ugo Pattacini
See also
yarpdataplayer: replay recorded data
yarpdatadumperAppGenerator: Generate yarpmanager applications for yarpdatadumper