What is SLAM?

SLAM is a common methodology for navigating indoor robots. The first problem we have in indoor robot driving is that we don't have a map. The second problem we have is that we have no frame of reference to locate ourselves – GPS does not work indoors. That is two problems – we need a map, and then we need a way to locate ourselves on that map. While SLAM starts with the letter “S” for Simultaneous, in truth, most robots make a map, store it away, and then drive on it later. Of course, while maps are being made, the robot has to make the map and then locate itself on the map–usually in the center.

How does SLAM work? The sensor usually associated with SLAM is the spinning LIDAR. You can think of LIDAR as a laser radar – it uses ...

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