[ros-users] Waypoint navigation

Mike Purvis mpurvis at clearpathrobotics.com
Thu Nov 11 21:04:56 UTC 2010

Hey all,

We do a lot of in-house testing of our platforms, for reliability, battery
life, etc. The basic pattern for these tests is to set the vehicle with a
bunch of waypoints and have it navigate a circuit for a few hours.
Currently, waypoint management is through a custom web gui, and all the
planning and so-on is very simple, just one goal at a time, point and shoot,

We're looking at increasing the complexity on the control side (for example,
using a carrot-based planning approach), and I'm just wondering if there are
published modules out there which we could be integrating with, rather than
continuing to build on our own stuff. Part of the idea, of course, would be
to open some of it up eventually, but that does no good if it doesn't
integrate with any of the conventions that are out there.

At the time that we were setting this all up in June, we didn't have a LIDAR
or a map server or any of the baseline requirements for Eitan's Navigation
stack. And given that we wouldn't be using any of the SLAM/exploration-type
functionality, it still seems like the wrong tool for the job in our case.
Is it, or is there some of the planning and path management stuff that would
indeed meet our needs, and be usable outside of the assumptions regarding
mapping, obstacle avoidance, sensors, etc? If not the Nav stack, are there
other components that address these needs?


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