6-DOF Feature based LIDAR SLAM using ORB Features from Rasterized Images of 3D LIDAR Point Cloud

by   Waqas Ali, et al.

An accurate and computationally efficient SLAM algorithm is vital for modern autonomous vehicles. To make a lightweight the algorithm, most SLAM systems rely on feature detection from images for vision SLAM or point cloud for laser-based methods. Feature detection through a 3D point cloud becomes a computationally challenging task. In this paper, we propose a feature detection method by projecting a 3D point cloud to form an image and apply the vision-based feature detection technique. The proposed method gives repeatable and stable features in a variety of environments. Based on such features, we build a 6-DOF SLAM system consisting of tracking, mapping, and loop closure threads. For loop detection, we employ a 2-step approach i.e. nearest key-frames detection and loop candidate verification by matching features extracted from rasterized LIDAR images. Furthermore, we utilize a key-frame structure to achieve a lightweight SLAM system. The proposed system is evaluated with implementation on the KITTI dataset and the University of Michigan Ford Campus dataset. Through experimental results, we show that the algorithm presented in this paper can substantially reduce the computational cost of feature detection from the point cloud and the whole SLAM system while giving accurate results.


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