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View Occupancy Grids from anywhere in the world

Hi all,

At bThere.ai we provide solutions that allow our customers to remotely monitor and control robots anywhere on the internet. Recently one of our customers was interested in viewing the progress of constructing Occupancy Grid maps while remotely controlling their robots in new environments.

Our bThere.ai solution provides plug-and-play support for live video and monitoring ROS topics. However, our customer was challenged with low bandwidth cellular connections that made it challenging to transfer Occupancy Grid data from the robot. In order to overcome this limitation, I wrote a ROS node that converts the Occupancy Grid data into a ROS Image topic that can then be encoded as H264 video. This allows for the Occupancy Grid to be viewed as a video feed via our console.

Although not necessarily novel in the approach, it was a fun project to work on. If you’re interested, I wrote up my solution and published it on our blog - https://blog.bthere.ai/viewing-occupancy-grids-from-anywhere-in-the-world/ - which includes links to the source code.

Let me know if you find it interesting or have any questions/feedback.

Matt