Navigation of Autonomous Mobile Robots

by Georges Blaha, Envirospace Software Research, Inc, Indialantic, United States,
Stephen R. Gerig, Envirospace Software Research, Inc, Indialantic, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Robotics for Challenging Environments


An integrated navigational system for autonomous mobile robots features a primary navigator, such as an inertial navigation or a dead-reckoning system, and a secondary navigator. The secondary navigator provides relatively frequent updates and infrequent re-initializations to the primary navigator. The present paper focuses on the secondary navigator based on state-of-the-art electronic and optical measuring equipment, and advanced scientific computer processing. For small areas (industrial facilities), a re-initialization provided by this navigator has an accuracy on the order of 1 mm in position and 1 arcsec in orientation; for larger areas (clean-up sites), the accuracy is slightly lower. The primary and the secondary navigators, as well as the computer used for processing the updates and re-initializations, reside on board a mobile robot. In this self-contained design, no communication with any outside source is required. By virtue of the high-accuracy information provided by the secondary navigator, the primary navigator is not required to produce accurate data for extended periods of time, yet the navigational system can maintain the required accuracy in position and orientation at all times.

Subject Headings: Navigation (geomatic) | Automation and robotics | Computing in civil engineering | Inertia | Industrial facilities | Control systems | Least squares method | Integrated systems

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