1. Overview


The Slam Toolbox package incorporates information from laser scanners in the form of a LaserScan message and TF transforms from odom->base link, and creates a map 2D map of a space. This package will allow you to fully serialize the data and pose-graph of the SLAM map to be reloaded to continue mapping, localize, merge, or otherwise manipulate. We allow for SLAM Toolbox to be run in synchronous (process all valid sensor measurements, regardless of lag) and asynchronous (process valid sensors measurements on an as-possible basis) modes.

You can find a paper about this work

ROS drop in replacement to gmapping, cartographer, karto, hector, etc featuring a feature complete SLAM build on the robust scan matcher at the heart of Karto that's been souped up and sped up for use in this package. A new optimization plugin based on Google Ceres is also introduced. We also introduce a new localization method called "elastic pose-graph localization" that takes a sliding window of measurements and adds them to the graph to optimize and refine. This allows for the tracking of local features which have changed in the environment rather than viewing them as deviations and removes these extra nodes when you leave an area to not effect the long term map.

This was created in response to inadequate mapping and localization quality from GMapping, Karto, Cartographer and AMCL in massive and dynamic indoor environments, though it has been tested and deployed on sidewalk robots as well.

There is included an RVIZ plugin for interacting with SLAM Toolbox over ROS topics and services. While it is included as a debug tool, for production use its recommended to wrap your own operation interface. I allow for manual pose-graph manipulation through the RVIZ plugin which works well for small maps. In larger maps, the interactive markers will overload RVIZ so its mostly useful as a debug instrument in smaller maps or for introspection. In the interactive pose-graph manipulation mode, you can move and rotate nodes in the graph, while being displayed the laser scan of that node to align it better with a loop closure or match, then rerun the optimizer over that section of the pose-graph. It is also very useful to rotate maps to be axially aligned.

More information, ROS API, demos, and resources are given in the GitHub page.

Macenski, S., Jambrecic I., "SLAM Toolbox: SLAM for the dynamic world", Journal of Open Source Software, 6(61), 2783, 2021.

Macenski, S., "On Use of SLAM Toolbox, A fresh(er) look at mapping and localization for the dynamic world", ROSCon 2019.

Wiki: slam_toolbox (last edited 2021-12-16 16:26:37 by SteveMacenski)