SLAM for hobbyist robots - it's time.

Hobbyist robots are still too dumb. We're still seeing battery-motor-wheels, maybe with a few sonars. I had one of those 25 years ago. CPUs have advanced
only from the Basic Stamp to the Atmel AVR, often in Arduno cult form. This is too lame for 2010.
A logical next step is to get visual Simultaneous Location and Mapping ("SLAM") onto hobbyist robots. Then they know where they are and what the environment is like. A cell phone with a camera has enough CPU power for this. The published papers are out there. Willow Robotics gives out some SLAM code.
Anybody doing this?
                        John Nagle
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On 02/13/2010 01:08 PM, John Nagle wrote:

As I understand it, the SLAM systems in many commercial mobile robots aren't overly robust. Many rely on a 2D or 3D sick laser or the like. So its not surprising this hasn't infiltrated hobby systems.
The best resource I know of is http://openslam.org / but its been a year or two since I last looked very hard.
- Daniel
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John Nagle wrote:

At the last HBRC (Home Brew Robotics Club meeting, somebody (alas I'm not good at names), showed up with a robot that was going to do camera vision based SLAM.
One of our members showed up with a pre production version of the Neato floor cleaning robot, which uses a laser range finder (not Lidar) to perform SLAM. The environment at CMU-SV (Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley) was pretty hostile, so it lots of problems with chairs everybody was sitting in. The chairs have 4 thin chrome plated steel legs, so they behave like small cylindrical mirrors at visual wave lengths. The Neato does have a bump sensor, so it did not totally fail.
What is enabling all of this is the deployment of low cost and low power 32-bit platforms that can be placed on the robot. OpenCV (originally from Intel, not maintained by Willow Garage) is getting a lot of traction these days.
I keep hoping that one of the low cost 32-bit platforms out there will get some traction like the Arduino did. 32-bit CPU, Linux, Wi-Fi, some USB ports, and some lower level stuff like Serial, I2C, SPI, some A/DC, should be less than $50 these days.
-Wayne
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waynegramlich wrote:

The Willow Garage people have cleaned up OpenCV. See "http://www.willowgarage.com/pages/software/opencv ". A few years ago, I tried OpenCV's stereo code, and it was awful. For example, about 10% of the time, the camera calibration program would produce total garbage. The stereo algorithm never worked very well. The LK tracker was good, though.
Willow Garage has been doing a lot of work on "astereomatching.cpp". It's worth looking at that again.
                John Nagle
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John Nagle wrote:

I meant to say "now maintained" rather than "not maintained".

We have two or three people in the club having some level of success with OpenCV these days.
-Wayne
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is there any psuedo code showing how SLAM works? I'd like to code it in 6502 assembly language
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u,mmmm how about starting this project and revive this group?
maybe we can flood it with REAL hobbyist and professional posts and ignore the spammers?
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