Contributing to Voxblox

These steps are only necessary if you plan on contributing to voxblox.

Code style

We follow the style and best practices listed in the Google C++ Style Guide.

Setting up the linter

This sets up a linter which checks if the code conforms to our style guide during commits.

First, install the dependencies listed here.

cd ~/catkin_ws/src/
git clone
cd linter
echo ". $(realpath" >> ~/.bashrc  # Or the matching file for
                                                   # your shell.

# Initialize linter in voxblox repo
cd ~/catkin_ws/src/voxblox

For more information about the linter visit ethz/linter

Modifying Voxblox

Here’s some hints on how to extend voxblox to fit your needs…


Serialization is currently implemented for:

  • TSDF layers
  • ESDF layers
  • Occupancy layers

The following serialization tools are implemented:

  • Store a layer to file
  • Load layer from file
  • Store a subset of the blocks of a layer to file
  • Load blocks from file and add to a layer

How to add your own voxel/layer type

  • Add your own voxel type and implement the getVoxelType(), e.g. fancy_voxel.h :
namespace voxblox {

// Used for serialization only.
namespace voxel_types {
 const std::string kYOUR_FANCY_VOXEL = "fancy_voxel"
}  // namespace voxel_types

template <>
inline std::string getVoxelType<YOUR_FANCY_VOXEL>() {
 return voxel_types::kYOUR_FANCY_VOXEL;

}  // namespace voxblox
  • Implement the block (de)serialization functions for your voxel type, e.g.
namespace voxblox {

template <>
void Block<YOUR_FANCY_VOXEL>::DeserializeVoxelData(const BlockProto& proto,
                                            YOUR_FANCY_VOXEL* voxels) {
// Your serialization code.

template <>
void Block<YOUR_FANCY_VOXEL>::SerializeVoxelData(const YOUR_FANCY_VOXEL* voxels,
                                          BlockProto* proto) const {
// Your serialization code.

}  // namespace voxblox
  • Create your own fancy_integrator.h, fancy_mesh_integrator.h, …

    Have a look at the example package:

    TODO(mfehr, helenol): add example package with a new voxel type