SRI International Releases New Version of Karto SDK for Mobile Robot Navigation
SRI International Releases New Version of Karto SDK for Mobile Robot Navigation
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Sep 18, 2009

Karto 1.1, the latest version of the mobile robot SDK from SRI International, provides support for performance improvement, single stereo camera positioning and remote data transmission to mapping modules.

SRI International have announced the release of version 1.1 of the Karto Software Development Kit (SDK) for mobile robot navigation. In addition to improving Karto’s performance, the new release adds two new modules to the robotic navigation suite:

The Visual Odometer module of the SDK enables a robot to use only a single stereo camera as input to maintain its relative position. This module does not require any information about the environment, nor does it require any input other than the stereo camera. The localization is a full 3D localization (X,Y,Z and the three rotation angles). This module works best outdoor.

Karto’s Network module provides basic remote data transmission to our mapping module. It allows a robot to send its odometry data and laser readings over the network to be processed by a SLAM server. The main application of this module is to enable a very simple robot that does not have sufficient computation power to offload the mapping computation. This module contains both the API for the server and client sides.

SRI International has worked hard to improve the performance of the existing modules of the Karto SDK. We have measured speed gains of 10 times or greater on some of our tests. Speed improvements will vary depending on the system configuration.

Based on customer requests, new functionalities were added to the mapper including:

  • Manual Loop Closure: In Karto you can now manually tell our algorithm to close a loop. If our automatic loop closure detection has missed it, you can have a user mark it and we will do the rest.
  • Save and Restore Mapping State: You can save the mapper state and reload it to resume mapping.
  • Multi-Device Mapping: We have extended our support to allow mapping using multiples devices. The devices can be mounted on the same robot or even be configured as multiple robots. This feature also supports using the same robot at different time!
  • Vector Map: Karto can still save the map in PNG format, but we have also added support for a vector map in SVG format.
  • Multi-Floor Support: Karto now also supports mapping multiple floors and linking them together to produce a coherent coordinate system across all floors.

The Karto 1.1 update is free to existing Karto licensees.

Karto Website:
SRI International Website:
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