What's the difference between the Zed SDK and the ISAAC samples?

I re-read my previous post and realized it was unclear what I was actually asking about.

My question is one of overlapping concerns, where the same projects seem to be re-packaged in a bunch of different ways, focusing more on form, than function.

The Zed SDK has its own SLAM API. Stereolabs ships software updates every once in a while.

The ISAAC SDK has Elbrus visual SLAM as well as nvblox. The SDK doesn’t seem like it’s updated in the last two years, though.

The ISAAC ROS repository has the same visual SLAM as well as ROS cost map integration. This has been very recently updated!

There are really two questions here:

  1. How much technology transfer happens between the NVIDIA work, and the Stereolabs SDK? E g, do the Stereolabs developers mainly take NVIDIA code and integrate it into their cohesive SDK, or do they run their own research projects with different models? (Yes, I should ask this of their support people, too. No harm in asking both sides!)

  2. Is ISAAC ROS the future of ISAAC, or is it a convenient re-packaging that trails behind some main development effort? And if there is a main development effort, why is the ISAAC SDK release on the webpage two years old? (I notice that components, like nvblocks, have recent commits on github.)

I also have the same question! Not sure which to implement / rely on, especially given DeepLearning based advances over the last 2 years in SLAM and depth mapping w.r.t smaller memory and latency.

So far, I’ve found out that Stereolabs uses their entirely own approach, not the NVIDIA approach, so testing both and seeing which one works better is likely worthwhile.
As far as ISAAC SDK vs ROS2 goes, it seems like ROS2 is a bit of a priority within NVIDIA right now, but that’s all gateway/integration work, rather than base models, and the base models will always be in ISAAC. So, if I don’t need Gazebo or other ROS features, going upstream to the code would be sufficient.

  1. Yes, Stereolabs developed their own SLAM algorithms independent of NVIDIA, so they are different under the hood.

  2. Isaac ROS brings Isaac GEMs to the ROS 2 ecosystem while Isaac SDK is a collection of Isaac GEMs for its own optimized NVIDIA-developed engine. You can choose which one fits your needs best.