Paper: Elastic LiDAR Fusion: Dense Map-Centric Continuous-Time SLAM

May 30th, 2018

Elastic LiDAR Fusion: Dense Map-Centric Continuous-Time SLAM

Reconstructed surfel map of an office with a handheld spinning LiDAR and proposed Elastic LiDAR Fusion method. Surfels with a diameter of 20mm cover the map surface with a 10mm resolution.

The concept of continuous-time trajectory representation has brought increased accuracy and efficiency to multi-modal sensor fusion in modern SLAM.

However, regardless of these advantages, its offline property caused by the requirement of global batch optimization is critically hindering its relevance for real-time and life-long applications.

In this paper, we present a dense map-centric SLAM method based on a continuous-time trajectory to cope with this problem.

The proposed system locally functions in a similar fashion to conventional Continuous-Time SLAM (CT-SLAM). However, it removes the need for global trajectory optimization by introducing map deformation.

The computational complexity of the proposed approach for loop closure does not depend on the operation time, but only on the size of the space it explored before the loop closure.

It is therefore more suitable for long term operation compared to the conventional CT-SLAM.

Furthermore, the proposed method reduces uncertainty in the reconstructed dense map by using probabilistic surface element (surfel) fusion. We demonstrate that the proposed method produces globally consistent maps without global batch trajectory optimization, and effectively reduces LiDAR noise by surfel fusion.

Park, Chanoh; Moghadam, Peyman; Kim, Soohwan; Elfes, Alberto; Fookes, Clinton; Sridharan, Sridha. Elastic LiDAR Fusion: Dense Map-Centric Continuous-Time SLAM. In: International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2018); 21-25 May 2018; Brisbane, Australia. IEEE; 2018. 1206-1213.  2018-05-30 | Publication type: Conference Material | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICRA.2018.8462915

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