KARTO mapping now open source and on code.ros.org


We're very excited to announce that the mapping library from SRI International's Karto Robotics is now open source with an LGPL license. This mapping library contains a scan matcher, pose graph, loop detection, and occupancy grid construction -- all important building blocks for 2D navigation. When combined with Willow Garage's Sparse Pose Adjustment (SPA) for optimization (in the sba ROS package), it forms a complete stand-alone library for robust 2D mapping.

The Karto mapping library is being hosted on code.ros.org, and we've already integrated it with the ROS navigation stack. The Karto team recently benchmarked various SLAM systems on the RAWSEEDS dataset and found that newest Karto 2.0 with SPA is slightly less precise than Karto 1.1, but Karto 2.0 was more consistent and faster [1]. The maximum error with Karto 2.0 performed as well as a localization-based solution (MCL). A paper describing the SPA technique is due to be published later this year.

We'd like to thank the Karto team for all the hard work that went into making this happen. You can visit kartorobotics.com to find out more about Karto as well as contact them regarding Karto integration services. For more information on research like SPA at Willow Garage, please see the perception and motion planning research areas.

[1]: "Comparison of indoor robot localization techniques in the absence of GPS, Vincent, Regis, Limketkai, Benson, and Eriksen, Michael, In Proceedings of SPIE Volume: 7664 Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XV (Proceedings Volume) of Defense, Security, and Sensing Symposium.


Karto SRI/Willow Garage Integration Team: Kurt Konolige, Benson Limketkai, Michael Eriksen, Regis Vincent, Brian Gerkey, Eitan Marder-Eppstein