City:  Stuttgart
Date:  Apr 11, 2024

Master Thesis - Benchmarking of 3D LiDAR SLAM Approaches in Versatile Outdoor Environments

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft ( currently operates 76 institutes and research institutions throughout Germany and is the world’s leading applied research organization. Around 30 800 employees work with an annual research budget of 3.0 billion euros. 

In the Professional Service Robots - Outdoor research group we develop autonomous, mobile robots for a variety of outdoor applications, such as agriculture and forestry. The focus is on the development of an autonomous outdoor navigation solution as well as the hardware of the robots.
For most developments for outdoor applications, localization is the central component of autonomous navigation. Compared to indoor environments, outdoor areas have uneven terrain and more unknown obstacles, which drastically reduces the performance of 2D LiDAR SLAM approaches. Instead, localization needs to capture the entire 3D environment, for example with 3D LiDARs. In the open-source community, there exist several 3D LiDAR odometry/SLAM approaches based on 3D point clouds, mostly focused on urban scenarios and autonomous driving.

This thesis aims at benchmarking these approaches by designing and creating sophisticated datasets in different application domains such as agriculture, forestry, parks or factory sites and evaluating the performance of the localization methods.


What you will do

This work focuses on benchmarking the different approaches. You will design evaluation scenarios and create challenging data sets with our own mobile robot CURTmini in different application areas such as agriculture, forestry, parks or factory sites and with different sensor setups. Based on the current state of research, you will decide on the most promising approaches for 3D LiDAR odometry and 3D LiDAR SLAM. You will implement an evaluation pipeline for automatic benchmarking of localization performance.


What you bring to the table

  • Background in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics or similar 
  • Profound knowledge of C++ 
  • Experience with ROS
  • Knowledge of localization systems
  • Enthusiasm for mobile robotics
  • Fluent in English or German 


What you can expect

  • Cutting-edge technology in the field of outdoor mobile robotics 
  • Hands on with our robots on our own test fields in Stuttgart
  • Take on responsibility and freedom to implement your own ideas
  • Work with the best students in their discipline 
  • Familiar atmosphere including Cake Friday


We also offer the possibility of direct entry for excellent graduates.


We value and promote the diversity of our employees' skills and therefore welcome all applications - regardless of age, gender, nationality, ethnic and social origin, religion, ideology, disability, sexual orientation and identity. Severely disabled persons are given preference in the event of equal suitability. 

With its focus on developing key technologies that are vital for the future and enabling the commercial utilization of this work by business and industry, Fraunhofer plays a central role in the innovation process. As a pioneer and catalyst for groundbreaking developments and scientific excellence, Fraunhofer helps shape society now and in the future. 

If you are interested, please submit a short letter of motivation on your personal favourite topic listed above, CV, current grade transcript to 

Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA 


Requisition Number: 71221                Application Deadline:


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