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General Information

RCARS (Robot-Centric Absolute Reference System) is a ROS Metapackage that provides a lightweight and easy to use, visual inertial state estimation and/or motion capture system. It uses a Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM) approach based on aritificual landmarks ("fiducials") observed by a camera and inertial measurement data retrieved from an IMU. Yet, the system is still fast and easily integratable into existing systems.


There is a scientific publication describing the implemented approach. In case RCARS is useful for you, please consider citing the following article:

Michael Neunert, Michael Bloesch, Jonas Buchli (2016). An Open Source, Fiducial Based, Visual-Inertial Motion Capture System. In 19th International Conference on Information Fusion (FUSION) (PDF download)


We try to provide as much support as possible. However, please note that we are a research lab and thus have limited capacity. In case there are issues with the software, please consider opening an issue here on Bitbucket. That we, we can interact with you easily and other users running into similar issues can read up on possible solutions.


We highly appreciate any contribution! To contribute, please fork this repository, apply your changes and create a pull request. Thank you!


Hardware Requirements


Software Structure



Running RCARS

Precalibrated Workspace

Workspace Alignment