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Copyright, Patent & License Notice

The MARS VINS software is copyrighted by the Regents of the University of Minnesota. Use of the software may be covered by at least US patents and applications 9,243,916, 9,658,07, 14/733,468 and 15/601,261 assigned to Regents of the University of Minnesota. The software can be freely used for educational and research purposes by non-profit institutions and US government agencies only. Other organizations are allowed to use the MARS VINS software only for evaluation purposes, and any further uses will require prior approval from The software may not be sold or redistributed without prior approval. One may make copies of the software for their use provided that the copies, are not sold or distributed, are used under the same terms and conditions.

As unestablished research software, this code is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. The downloading, or executing any part of this software constitutes an implicit agreement to these terms. These terms and conditions are subject to change at any time without prior notice.


If you want to use this library in your research, please cite:

  1. M. K. Paul, K. Wu, J. Hesch, E. Nerurkar, and S. I. Roumeliotis, “A Comparative Analysis of Tightly-coupled Monocular, Binocular, and Stereo VINS”, International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Singapore, May 29-Jun. 3, 2017.



  • The desktop version of the code is not optimized, please do not use it for timing comparisons.
  • Both global shutter and rolling shutter cameras are supported.
  • The code currently supports 3 types of camera models: 1) equidistant, 2) fov, and 3) radial-tangential.
  • A sample config file is provided in the "config" folder.
  • The provided generic_driver.cpp and vins_example_app.cpp contatins drivers and example code to run the filter from logged data. Sample datasets are available at: If you want to try your own datasets or run on with online data, please modify the driver and example app accordingly.
  • For the sample app, the input "imu-path" should contain the path of the IMU file. The IMU file should be formatted as: timestamp (s), gyro measurement (gx, gy, gz), accel measurement (ax, ay, az)
  • The input "image-path" should contain the path of the image folder. The image folder should contain the images in .pgm format and the image names should be in the format m0000000.pgm (e.g., m0000100.pgm). The image folder should also contain a "timestamps.txt" file. The timestamps file should be formatted as: image_name, timestamp (s)
  • The left-right images are expected to the timesynced, hence the corresponding timestamps.txt files should be identical.


Quick Install Instructions

Follow these steps to build an example program on linux (built for Ubuntu 14.04) This program will run stereo vins on a given dataset (see for some example datasets).

mkdir build
cd build
cmake .. -DPLATFORM=x86 -DCAMERA_MODEL=equidistant
make example_app
make install
./example_app <config file> <output file> <imu data file> <left image directory> <right image directory>

If you get this error error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory, please add the "build" directory to your LD_LIBRARY_PATH.

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="path-to-build-directory":$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

Custom install

The following options for MARS-VINS are currently available:


  • Linux : Intel-64bit (x86)

  • Linux : ARM-64bit (arm64)

  • Android : ARM-64-bit (arm64)

Camera models:

  • equidistant

  • fov

  • radial_tangential

example_app can be compiled for any of the above combinations in the following fashion.

For linux builds:

cd build
cmake -DPLATFORM=<x86 or arm64> -DCAMERA_MODEL=<equidistant or fov or  or radial_tangential> ..
make example_app
make install
./example_app <config file> <output file> <imu data file> <left image directory> <right image directory>

For android builds (adb required to interface with android, android device should be rooted):

cd build_android
## edit to select your camera model
make example_app
make install
adb push ./example_app <directory on android device>
adb shell
cd <directory on android device>
./example_app <config file> <output file> <imu data file> <left image directory> <right image directory>
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