View custom robot data - basics

You can augment InOrbit’s default robot data with your own custom settings to view specific information/robot attributes you want to see on InOrbit Mission Control.

As described in Overview to InOrbit Mission Control, when you add a new robot, InOrbit Mission Control displays default data/information of a robot, such CPU Usage, HDD Usage, and and RAM. These are called “Built-in” attributes.

You can configure InOrbit to capture other desired attributes of particular interest to you, such as system or robot metrics, sensor readings, software component details, and application-specific values. You customize your robot data via the Settings menus in InOrbit Mission Control. A custom attribute applies to all robots in your entire fleet. Custom attributes can then be used for real-time monitoring, to visualize values over time directly in Mission Control, to track overall fleet status or to trigger notifications when something is not within expected tolerances.

Background: Data Sources

InOrbit supports the following data sources. These data sources are obtained from the Robot Operating System (ROS) installed by the InOrbit agent on each robot. (For more information about ROS itself, see the ROS Wiki.) InOrbit also supports additional non-ROS data sources. For assistance in configuring non-ROS data sources, contact InOrbit via e-mail at

Type of DataDescription
System metricsCPU usage, RAM usage, specific HDD partitions, or network interfaces.
ROS DiagnosticsIf you use ROS and have nodes that publish values in the /diagnostics or /diagnostics_agg topics, InOrbit can be configured to work with this data.
Custom key/value pairsIf you use ROS and want to view a specific data value from your robot, you can publish a std_msgs/String message with the form key=value to the /inorbit/custom_data/0 topic on the agent; for example, apples=10.

What You Need

Tutorial Steps

This tutorial has two general parts: defining a custom robot attribute and displaying that attribute on InOrbit Mission Control. These steps focus on a specific robot attribute for viewing: usage of the eth0 network interface on your robot.

Part 1: Define the eth0 custom robot attribute

  1. As Administrator, login to InOrbit Mission Control.

  2. From the menu of three vertical dots at upper right, select Settings.

    Result: You are positioned on the Robot Data tab, which is divided into sections: Data Sources, Status, and Visualization.

  3. To add the new data source, under the Data Sources heading, click the circled + sign.

    Result: A new empty slot for the custom attribute is displayed.

  4. Define the attribute you want to add in two ways:

    1. Select the pulldown menu at the right of the new slot (the upside down ^) to view pre-defined system attributes.

    2. In the empty slot, begin typing the name of the attribute you want to add. InOrbit displays matching data source names that it discovers from your robots such as the different network interfaces, HDD partitions, ROS Diagnostics tools or custom key/value pairs.

    In this tutorial, we want to see the eth0 data source. From the pulldown menu, find and select eth0.

    Result: the custom attribute is added to the bottom of the list of Data Sources. It is also added to the bottom of the lists in the Status and Visualization sections.

  5. To add a more user-friendly name for the attribute, scroll to the bottom of the Data Sources list, find the newly defined attribute, and enter the user-friendly name in the first field. The user-friendly name is also updated in the Status and Visualization sections.

Result: You have defined the new custom eth0 attribute, and InOrbit automatically saves the new configuration.

Part 2: View the eth0 custom robot attribute on InOrbit Mission Control and change its position

InOrbit adds a new custom attribute defined in Data Sources to the Status and Visualization sections in Settings.

To see the new custom attribute, go to InOrbit Mission Control and scroll down to find the new attribute.

Changing an attribute’s position on Mission Control

In Settings > Robot Data, by default, a new attribute is appended to the Visualization list. This means that on Mission Control, the new attribute is shown last.

To change the position of the attribute on Mission Control:

  1. Go to Settings > Robot Data.
  2. Find the attribute in the Visualization list.
  3. Grab the = handle to the left of the attribute.
  4. Drag the attribute up or down in the Visualization list to the desired display position.

Result: Return to Mission Control to see the attribute in the new position.