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Autonomous navigation with Velodyne VLP-16 3D Lidar

asked 2020-12-07 23:57:56 -0500

KenIsX gravatar image

I am trying to use Velodyne VLP-16 on custom-made robot base for mapping, obstacle avoidance, and autonomous navigation. The accuracy and performance are not main concerned and can be solved by integrating additional sensors. What I'm trying to find is the packages that I can use in the following setup.

Preparation phase

  1. Mapping with LOAM: use VLP-16's scan to obtain pcd map. => Any LOAM packages
  2. Convert pcd file into occupancy grid for GLOBAL costmap in navigation => ???

Autonomous Navigation phase

  1. Using LIDAR Odometry to localize the robot in pcd map and obtain odometry. => ???
  2. Detect obstacles in real-time and put it in LOCAL costmap => Costmap2D
  3. Navigation planner & obstacle avoidance => ROS Navigation Stack

I wonder if anyone is attempting on a similar thing and happens to know which packages I could use for a part that I marked as ???. Sorry if my explanation is unclear. Any helps or suggestions are very appreciated.

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answered 2020-12-08 15:08:25 -0500

apawlica gravatar image

updated 2020-12-08 15:09:42 -0500

Not sure about converting your pcd file to a grid map, but I might be able to offer an alternative; I'm using a 3D LIDAR from Ouster (OS1-16) for SLAM. The LOAM package for Velodyne sensors seems like it's just to use the sensor independently, kind of like the basic Ouster drivers.

I'm using rtabmap for mapping and localization, as there is an assortment of test launch files for various hardware (including Ouster and Velodyne). You may have to change a couple of parameters, but rtabmap handles the part of taking data from the sensor and getting a 3D pointcloud and 2D occupancy gridmap. You can then set the appropriate topics in the navigation stack to use the map that rtabmap is generating (just make sure your transforms are set up correctly). If you install using apt the package won't have all the test launch files, so make sure to install from source. You can find the github here.

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Thank you for your suggestion!

In fact I have used rtabmap for the robot setup with 2D LIDAR and stereo cameras before. I will have to test how well does rtabmap's localization works when using 3D LIDAR.

KenIsX gravatar image KenIsX  ( 2020-12-10 02:34:38 -0500 )edit

My results with the Ouster have been very good, I would expect the Velodyne to perform well, too.

apawlica gravatar image apawlica  ( 2020-12-10 03:18:46 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2020-12-07 23:56:21 -0500

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Last updated: Dec 08 '20