The Mapping theme is all about building useful representations of workspaces. Sometimes these maps are used by our robots to localise. Sometimes the maps are themselves intrinsically valuable as surveys which contain both spatial and semantic information.
Building maps over large spatial scales and updating them over large temporal scales is both fascinating and challenging. Large scale workspaces change appearance and geometry over time – in some places this is a creeping or a cyclical process, like day and night lighting; in others it is sudden, like trucks and crowds moving.
We use both cameras and lasers in our mapping work. Sometimes we build purely visual maps whilst in other cases we build dense 3D point clouds from laser sensors. Our most recent work concerns dense mapping from low cost cameras. Expect to see much more on this soon.