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Getting "maps" to a remote location with hector_mapping

asked 2013-06-06 02:58:56 -0600

TJump gravatar image

updated 2013-06-06 02:59:40 -0600

We are working on generating maps to a remote command center. Our first premise was to have ROS running on multiple machines, with the sensors running on the robot and connecting to a roscore running on the remote PC. We almost have this working, but now realize this approach breaks if there are radio dropout zones (the roscore disconnects and the map breaks during the outage).

Next is to consider having the map generated at the robot (hector_slam running on the robot rather than the PC), but the map still needs to get transmitted back to the PC (and in real time if possible).

What does it take to get the maps transmitted to a remote location?

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answered 2013-06-06 05:04:24 -0600

We just use plain ROS communication. Master runs on robot, operator station connects to robot's master and we just start the necessary GUI nodes. Example screencast of that here. That of course means we stream the full uncompressed nav_msgs/OccupancyGrid message over the wire, which is pretty wasteful.

Using appropriate compression the size of those could be reduced significantly. There is some discussion of this here. The compressed visualization transport for maps can be found here:

From our testing it turns out that bz2 compression is even better (and more general) than png, so we will likely use that in the future.

Some tools for doing that are available here. I won't be able to give any support in the next 3 weeks though, with VRC and RoboCup coming up :)

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Thanks Stefan. This looks like our next step to try. Hopefully we can get this part working before RoboCup.

TJump gravatar image TJump  ( 2013-06-06 05:25:53 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2013-06-06 02:58:56 -0600

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Last updated: Jun 06 '13