Google Open Sources Two Far Reaching New Tools
Google is continuing to release significant projects to the open source community at a torrid pace. The company has just open sourced a project called Cartographer, available on GitHUb here. It offers a real-time simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) library in 2D and 3D with ROS support. "SLAM is an essential component of autonomous platforms such as self driving cars, automated forklifts in warehouses, robotic vacuum cleaners, and UAVs", says a Google post.
Separately, Google is also open sourcing a font called Noto, which supports 800 languages and covers 110 writing systems. 'No more Tofu' iw what the name of the new typeface refers to.
"Google’s open-source Noto font family provides a beautiful and consistent digital type for every symbol in the Unicode standard," notes an announcement post. "The Noto project started as a necessity for Google’s Android and ChromeOS operating systems."
According to developers:
"[We partnered] with experts in the field of type and font design, including Monotype, Adobe, and an amazing network of volunteer reviewers. Beyond “no more tofu” in the common languages used every day, Noto will be used to preserve the history and culture of rare languages through digitization. As new characters are introduced into the Unicode standard, Google will add these into the Noto font family."
As for Cartographer, developers report:
"We are happy to announce the open source release of Cartographer, a real-time simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) library in 2D and 3D with ROS support. SLAM algorithms combine data from various sensors (e.g. LIDAR, IMU and cameras) to simultaneously compute the position of the sensor and a map of the sensor’s surroundings. Cartographer builds globally consistent maps in real-time across a broad range of sensor configurations common in academia and industry."
You can watch a demonstration video of Cartographer here.