Odometry & laser

I am getting a little confused about the difference between “odometry data” and “laser data” when I learn the course “ROS Navigation”. As I know, “laser data” provides with the distance of sourrunding elements w.r.t. robot, but what does “odometry data” actually provide with? Do they have distinguishing differences?
Thank you.

Odometry data provides the current pose (position and orientation) of the robot

Hi @MeineLiebeAxt ,

The simple difference is that “laser data” is from a perception sensor and “odometry data” is from kinematics sensor like an IMU (accelerometer - gyroscope combination).

Laser Data is usually provided with sensor_msgs, while Odometry Data is provided with nav_msgs.

Laser Data is obtained usually from a Lidar mounted on a robot. This acts as a proximity sensor for the robot to check for obstacle positions around the robot. The measurements are with respect to the robot or robot reference frame.

Odometry Data is obtained usually from sensors like wheel encoders, accelerometers, gyroscopes that are mounted on the robot. This gives information like instantaneous linear and angular velocity of the robot and the point of reference of the robot with respect to the world or world reference frame.

You would find information similar to Odometry Data in IMU Data which comes from sensor_msgs. IMU data comes only from the inertial measurement units that are mounted in the robot (again like accelerometers and gyroscopes).

I hope your doubt is now clarified !


Thank you for explaination! @girishkumar.kannan

Thank you very much! @dp2005

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