What is SLAM?
Picture yourself commissioning a mobile robot fleet and having to manually build a map of the environment. This involves adding and referencing reflective markers for localization, defining the exact geometry and position of all routes and paths. It is a complex and time-consuming task already.
But how do you ensure that markers will never be occluded or removed, and that user-defined paths remain valid even when the environment changes? This is where Simultaneous Localization and Mapping and SLAM-based navigation comes into play.
With this technology, robots can create a map of the environment by using onboard sensor data without relying on artificial markers. All you need to do is run a teach cycle, where a robot is driven through the relevant area. Additionally, the map serves as a base for computing paths to get from A to B as well as avoiding obstacles in real time. This means you rely less on manual labor and markers, saving time and money. On top of that, SLAM-equipped robots are more flexible and adaptable.
In this point, we see SLAM therefore as an important building block for the future of mobile robotics. However, the performance/reliability of SLAM-based localization and navigation depends on the efficiency of the algorithms used to process the sensor data.
Are you interested in how NODE Robotics uses SLAM to make mobile robots reliable and easy to use? Feel free to contact us.
Visit www.node-robotics.com for more information.