Distributed 3D TSDF Manifold Mapping for Multi-Robot Systems

Thibaud Duhautbout1, Julien Moras2, and Julien Marzat2
1Université de Technologie de Compiègne, France
2ONERA - The French Aerospace Lab, France

This paper presents a new method to perform collaborative real-time dense 3D mapping in a distributed way for a multi-robot system. This method associates a Truncated Signed Distance Function (TSDF) representation with a manifold structure. Each robot owns a private map which is composed of a collection of local TSDF sub-maps called patches that are locally consistent. This private map can be shared to build a public map collecting all the patches created by the robots of the fleet. In order to maintain consistency in the global map, a mechanism of patch alignment and fusion has been added. This work has been integrated in real-time into a mapping stack, which can be used for autonomous navigation in unknown and cluttered environment. Experimental results on a team of wheeled mobile robots are reported to demonstrate the practical interest of the proposed system, in particular for the exploration of unknown areas.