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Generating empty map for outdoor navigation

asked 2020-09-18 23:12:41 -0600

moshahin gravatar image

I want to develop autonomous outdoor navigation for my robot. So far I have been able to configure localisation (IMU +GPS) using robot_localization package and I have the followed the ROS navigation stack to setup the global/local planner. The only element remaining is the map. Because the robot is going to operate on an open field, I want to implement a blank map so that the robot can roam freely. Does anyone know how to generate an empty occupancy grid map so that I use map_server to launch it with move_base? I want to eventually spawn multiple robots too.

Thanks :)

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answered 2020-09-19 00:26:34 -0600

JackB gravatar image

If you do not need a map at all, see this launch file, move_base_mapless_demo.launch which includes this launch file move_base.launch. If you need more explanation let me know.

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@moshahin did this help you produce the result you were looking for?

JackB gravatar image JackB  ( 2020-09-21 21:27:35 -0600 )edit

@JackB Hey Thank you for your response! I had a quick look at the launch file and from what I can see the move_base.launch includes a global costmap generated by laser readings. I actually have no sensor to interact with the environment except IMU and GPS. I am aware that if you do have a sensor that can generate PointClouds then you don't need a map at all and can build the costmap using sensor information. Unfortunately in my case I don't. What I thought of doing was using a white image that would translate as an empty costmap, allowing the mobile robot to move anywhere freely. I am currently finishing some issues with localisation but as soon as im done ill have a closer look again. If what I said is incorrect, feel free to correct me. I am new to ROS and want to improve ...(more)

moshahin gravatar image moshahin  ( 2020-09-22 23:26:21 -0600 )edit

I think you can get away without a global costmap generated by laser readings. When I get into the lab later today, if I remember, I will do a quick test run and update you!

JackB gravatar image JackB  ( 2020-09-23 07:57:08 -0600 )edit

@JackB Just wanted to update you and tell you I was able to do navigation with an "empty_map". I took a screenshot of a white image and used that as my occupancy grid map. The global costmap generated is practically empty to the robot is free to roam anywhere. I can change the size of the map by the resolution parameter in map_server.

moshahin gravatar image moshahin  ( 2020-09-26 18:48:05 -0600 )edit

I can confirm the move_base_mapless_demo.launch I linked in my answer allows you to navigate with no map, so consider looking at that again. I am happy you were able to solve your problem but it may not be a readily extensible solution. Good luck!

JackB gravatar image JackB  ( 2020-09-27 12:09:01 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2020-09-18 23:12:41 -0600

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Last updated: Sep 19 '20