Open source Topological SLAM software available for download

By | May 24, 2008

Everyone knows that solving the Simultaneous Localization and Mapping Problem (SLAM) is essential to creating truly autonomous mobile robots. Many good SLAM solutions have been developed in the past 10 years but most of them rely on time-of-flight sensors (most often a SICK Laser) to achieve high localization accuracy and map resolutions. Visual SLAM approaches are also in development but currently a bit behind in terms of the size of the maps that can be successfully constructed.

The Oxford mobile robotics group has been a pioneer in monocular, real-time, visual SLAM solutions including metric and topological approaches. A couple of days ago, Dr Paul Newman and Mark Cummins released an open source version of their Fast Appearance Based Mapping (FABMAP) toolset. The C++ API is very easy to use. The results look impressive as you can see for yourself from the video below. If you are trying to enable your robot with SLAM abilities and know a bit of programming then you should give FABMAP a chance.

FabMap Algorithm – New College Dataset from Oxford Mobile Robotics Group on Vimeo.

4 thoughts on “Open source Topological SLAM software available for download

  1. Paul

    Is this actually open source? On the download page it says “FabMap is available in binary form at present” and I don’t see any source code, just header files. Am I missing something?

    Looks like nice work, in any case.

  2. Awesom-o

    Paul, you are correct. I think I have abused the term “open source” in this case. Honestly, though, the free binaries are probably better if all you are looking for is a visual SLAM module to fit in your larger robotics project. For academic research, you could always try to get in touch with the authors to see if you can get a copy of the code from them.


  3. mark25

    Hey guys – Yes, it’s binary only at the moment. The source includes a small bit of borrowed code that isn’t public, so I can’t open-source it until I get permission from the relevant people. Hope you find the binaries useful in the meantime!

    Mark Cummins

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