IoT and the Autonomous Vehicle in the Clouds: Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) with Kafka and Spark Streaming

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Processing real-time analytics of big data streams from sensor data will continue to be an important task as embedded technology increases and we continue to generate new types and ways of data analysis, particularly in regard to the Internet of Things (IoT). Robotics models many of these key challenges well and incorporates the possibility of high- throughput streams as well as complex online machine learning and analytics algorithms. These challenges make it an almost ideal candidate for in depth analysis of real-time streaming analytics.
We look at a simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) problem, an ongoing research area in robotics for autonomous vehicles, and well recognized as a non-trivial problem space in both industry and research. We will use a new integrated framework on Kafka and Spark Streaming to explore a constrained SLAM problem using online algorithms to navigate and map a space in real time.

We present benchmarks of our open-source robot’s integration with Kafka and Spark Streaming for performance against other SLAM algorithms currently in use, explore some of the challenges we faced in our implementation, and make recommendations for improvement of performance and optimization on our framework.

Finally, new to this talk, we demo real-time usage of our implementation with the Turtlebot II and explore relevant benchmarks and their implications on the future of autonomous vehicles in the IoT and cloud analytics space.