[ros-users] SLAM pretty much requires laser?

Brian Gerkey gerkey at willowgarage.com
Tue Sep 21 20:42:48 UTC 2010

On Tue, Sep 21, 2010 at 12:42 PM, Alex Barvo <robotnv at gmail.com> wrote:
> Several people in Trossen Robotics community are just starting to use ROS.
> Our robots are usually smaller and cheaper.
> Hokuyo and SICK sensors are way out of reach for us.
> We love what navigation stack can do, but it looks like it pretty much
> requires the usage of a lidar for SLAM.
> Is that a correct statement to make?

hi Alex,

The commonly used slam (slam_gmapping and slam_karto) and localization
(amcl) systems all require laser data.  There's a long history of slam
and localization with other sensors (e.g., sonar), but the results are
so superior with lasers (at least for indoor environments) that most
people just use lasers.

There's some old support for sonars hiding in amcl, but it hasn't been
used in a long time.  It should be possible to update and integrate
that code.

The obstacle avoidance part of navigation should be able to use other
sensors, such as sonar (there was a discussion about this previously
on this list).  And navigation can work in any frame, with or without
a map.


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