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Position estimation for an autonomous mobile robot in an outdoor environment

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2 Author(s)
R. Talluri ; Texas Univ., Austin, TX, USA ; J. K. Aggarwal

The position estimation problem for an autonomous land vehicle navigating in an unstructured mountainous terrain is solved. A digital elevation map (DEM) of the area is assumed to be given. It is also assumed that the robot is equipped with a camera that can be panned and tilted, a compass, and an altimeter. No recognizable landmarks are assumed to be present, and the robot is not assumed to have an initial estimate of its position. The solution structures the problem as a constrained search paradigm by searching the DEM for the possible robot location. The shape and position of the horizon line in the image plane and the known camera geometry of the perspective projection are used as parameters. Geometric constraints are used to prune the search space significantly. The algorithm is made robust to errors in the imaging process by accounting for worst case errors. The approach is tested using real terrain data of areas in Colorado and Texas

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 5 )