ROS Navigation for unknown number of Robots

asked 2017-08-29 06:28:57 -0500

abish gravatar image

Hello everyone,

Let me tell you the scenario first. I have a specific map with many inlets and outlets for multiple, small sized, omni-directional robots. Any robot can come in through any inlet but should go to the specific outlet based on RFID tag. There can be multiple robots on the map at once.

There is a fixed 3D camera (Kinect) on top and an RFID scanner. The camera is used for two reasons. Firstly, it will provide the odometry of robots at any point in time. And secondly, the PointCloud will give the dynamic obstacles (e.g. other robots) in the way.

Until now, I have successfully managed to apply tracking of robots in the area to get the odometry values. Separately, I have used ROS Navigation package to navigate a single robot around the map.

Now the problem. Since ROS navigation needs to be initiated through a launch file. Even if I tweak the launch file and create multiple namespaces to run move_base multiple times, the problem is that it can only be initialized for a specific number of times. In other words, I cannot initialize a new move_base node in real time.

So, my questions are:

  1. Is it possible to initialize a move_base node only when the robot is in my area of interest? And to close the node when the robot is away.
  2. How can I use PointCloud instead of laser scan to create the global/local costmap?

I know it is much to ask, but any related help would be highly appreciated.

Thanks.

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