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Typical Methods of Building Large 3D Maps?

asked 2012-03-22 06:28:26 -0500

Yo gravatar image

updated 2016-10-24 08:59:24 -0500

ngrennan gravatar image

I'd like to build a 3D map of our lab (a number of rooms and hallways and cubicles, etc) using a Kinect and/or Turtlebot.

I've looked into a number of methods (right now I'm looking at possibly using RGBDSLAM), but I'd like to know if there are any typical methods people use.

Is RGBDSLAM a good choice for this? Are there other standard methods people use? What are their pros and cons?

(Related side-note: I tried using a Turtlebot with gmapping to build a 2D map of one section of the office, and it came out horribly. It also refused to work properly with any sort of loop closures involving hallways, I think largely because of the Turtlebot's horrible odometry.)

Edit: I Heart Robotics provided some very useful information, but if anyone has more information to offer, I'd very much appreciate it! :)

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Please ask the TurtleBot problem as a separate question with any diagnostic information you have. Also, you may want to check that the gyro is calibrated and that you are using the latest turtlebot code. The calibration code has been improved here

I Heart Robotics gravatar image I Heart Robotics  ( 2012-03-23 05:43:26 -0500 )edit

Also this belongs in a seperate question but this may also help with tuning the parameters for gmapping.

I Heart Robotics gravatar image I Heart Robotics  ( 2012-03-23 05:44:09 -0500 )edit

I mostly included that just to note other similar things I've tried, but thanks for the info -- it looks very helpful for if I decide to try that again. :)

Yo gravatar image Yo  ( 2012-03-23 06:03:46 -0500 )edit

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answered 2012-03-23 06:15:37 -0500

I Heart Robotics gravatar image

This is an area of open research, with several research groups working in slightly different directions. So, I am not sure there is a consensus on what is the best approach. is a nice resource the provides code for some 2D and 3D SLAM systems.

Also, if you are looking for papers you may want to look at the archives for the RGB-D Workshop at RSS.

The biggest problems I see with large scale mapping is managing the massive amount of data coming from the sensor and limiting the growth of the map over time without discarding critical information. One solution is to simply wait for Moore's law to provide faster processors.

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As odd as it might sound, I'm actually semi working alongside (kinda complicated) one of those research groups. ;) Part of why I'm asking is I wanted to try to see things from the user/consumer side instead of the developer side. Thanks for the response, that's helpful information!

Yo gravatar image Yo  ( 2012-03-23 06:24:06 -0500 )edit

Something like SLAM6D seems pretty useful for surveyors and architects, even in the state it is in now.

Robots which could benefit the most, such as quadrotors with 6DoF are often very cpu limited which makes 3DSLAM even more difficult to do in real-time.

I Heart Robotics gravatar image I Heart Robotics  ( 2012-03-23 06:57:54 -0500 )edit

Also, for those who are interested, Dr. Nüchter has a book that I can recommend that covers many of the fundamentals of 3D mapping. Andreas Nüchter. 3D Robotic Mapping. Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics (STAR), ISBN 978-3540898832, 210 pages, Springer Verlag

I Heart Robotics gravatar image I Heart Robotics  ( 2012-03-23 10:57:51 -0500 )edit

answered 2012-03-26 02:31:46 -0500

updated 2012-03-26 02:32:20 -0500

You can use RGBDSLAM for a large scale map (in the terms you mentioned), but it's not out-of-the-box-one-shot-mapping, but carefully-moving-the-camera/robot-mapping, most possibly with several attempts and some parameter tuning.

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answered 2022-12-06 06:25:59 -0500

rukn gravatar image

Octomap and RTAB mapping are 2 popular 3D mapping techniques. These two have their own advantages and disadvantages, so we can choose any of this or a combination of the same based on our requirements. Octomap generates compact maps so it will consume only significantly less memory space and only need low computational power. at the same time, the RTAB map is built using the RGB depth graph-based slam approach. The main feature of the RTAB map is the representation of objects as it is in the map i.e in their real color, shape, and other features are preserved as much as possible. You can refer to the link to understand the difference between octomap and RTAB map and make a decision based on your requirements!

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Asked: 2012-03-22 06:28:26 -0500

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Last updated: Mar 26 '12