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Why is the laser scan used my most robotic even when the point cloud is present

asked 2018-11-23 06:56:46 -0600

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I have been seeing that all most all the robots use the laser scan for the navigation instead of the point cloud data, is there any specific reason for the same.

The navigation package does support the sensor_msgs/LaserScan and sensor_msgs/PointCloud as the sensor source but always laser scan is used.

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answered 2018-11-23 09:51:38 -0600

The short answer is that in the case of robots moving in a 2D plane which the navigation package is designed for a 2D laser scan is sufficient in most cases.

SLAM in 3D is far more complex than SLAM in 2D, so if it's a safe assumption that the robot remains in a 2D plane then this is the best choice. There is no need spending orders of magnitude more processing power to localise in 3D if that's not a task you really need to do.

However if you're moving in 3D space with 6 degrees of freedom, then you'll have to use the 3D information with a package such as RGB-D-SLAM or R-TAB-MAP, but this is not what the navigation stack is designed for.

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Asked: 2018-11-23 06:56:46 -0600

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Last updated: Nov 23 '18