Revolutionizing Urban Robotics: SMAT Enables Autonomous Navigation in Unbounded and Dynamic Environments


The rapid growth of robotics in everyday life demands solutions that allow robots to navigate unbounded and changing environments efficiently. Current methods can individually achieve spatial mapping and dynamic object detection and tracking, but integrating these two crucial abilities remains a challenge. A new framework, SMAT (Simultaneous Mapping and Tracking), aims to address this issue.

SMAT Framework: SMAT integrates the front-end dynamic object detection and tracking module with the back-end static mapping module using a self-reinforcing mechanism. This combination promotes mutual improvement of mapping and tracking performance. The system can run in real-time on a CPU-only onboard computer, making it a practical solution for real-world applications.

Real-World Applications: In tests, the SMAT framework demonstrated its ability to achieve successful long-range navigation and mapping in multiple urban environments using just one LiDAR, a CPU-only onboard computer, and a consumer-level GPS receiver. The system can navigate in unknown and highly varied scenarios without relying on pre-built maps or heavy computational resources, making it a versatile solution for urban robotics.

Advantages of the SMAT Framework:

  1. Scalability: SMAT can handle large-scale urban environments, outperforming existing research in terms of map dependence and experimental site scale.
  2. Flexibility: Unlike solutions that rely heavily on pre-built maps, SMAT can adapt to changes in the environment and find alternative paths when necessary.
  3. Privacy: The framework relies on geometric information from LiDAR perception, which better protects people’s privacy compared to image-based perception.
  4. Resource Efficiency: SMAT does not require extensive training data or GPU computation resources, making it a plug-and-play solution for real-world deployments.

Conclusion: The SMAT framework offers a promising solution for long-range navigation in unbounded and dynamic urban environments. By enabling robots to navigate without prior knowledge of the workspace or global maps, SMAT has the potential to transform the way robots are deployed in cities and beyond. Future research will focus on the framework’s scalability and real-world deployment in various urban environments.

SMAT: A Self-Reinforcing Framework for Simultaneous Mapping and Tracking in Unbounded Urban Environments

Tingxiang Fan, Bowen Shen, Yinqiang Zhang, Chuye Zhang, Lei Yang, Hua Chen, Wei Zhang and Jia Pan

AWS Cloud Credit for Research
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Clara Prieto García is the accomplished Editor of, a leading online news platform dedicated to artificial intelligence research and advancements. With a Master's degree in Information Technology from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and over 20 years of experience in journalism, Clara has become a respected figure in the AI community. She has a keen eye for identifying groundbreaking AI developments and is committed to making this knowledge accessible to a global audience. Under her leadership, has garnered a reputation for its comprehensive coverage and insightful analysis of the AI landscape.


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