A system, being developed by researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), allows robots to navigate through constantly changing surroundings. The technology builds and continuously updates a three-dimensional map of an environment using a low-cost camera. The device could also allow blind people to make their way unaided through crowded buildings such as hospitals and shopping malls.

The new approach, based on a technique called Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), will allow robots to constantly update a map as they learn new information over time. The team has previously tested the approach on robots equipped with expensive laser-scanners.

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Also: Learn about visual SLAM using variance grid maps.