The RAWSEEDS project is and SSA (Specific Support Action) in the EU 6th Frame Program aiming at stimulating and supporting progress in autonomous robotics by providing a comprehensive, high-quality benchmarking toolkit for SLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Map building) . The absence of standard benchmarks is a widely acknowledged problem in the robotics field, and this is doubly harmful to it: firstly, because it prevents recognition of scientific and technical progress, thus discouraging research and development; and secondly, because it prevents new actors (and particularly SMEs) from entering the robotic sector, as heavy investments are needed to compensate for that absence. The benchmarking toolkit that RAWSEEDS will create includes: high-quality multisensorial data sets, benchmark problems based on them, state-of-the-art solutions to these problems in the form of algorithms and software, and methodologies for the assessment of algorithms.
The project started in November 2006 and it will end in April 2009. Presently the partners are defining and acquiring the robotic platforms and sensor suite for data gathering. Acquisition will start in Summer 2007 and first data will be availlable by the end of 2007.