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Merging Occupancy Grid Maps From Multiple Robots

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2 Author(s)
Birk, A. ; Int. Univ. Bremen ; Carpin, S.

Mapping can potentially be speeded up in a significant way by using multiple robots exploring different parts of the environment. But the core question of multirobot mapping is how to integrate the data of the different robots into a single global map. A significant amount of research exists in the area of multirobot mapping that deals with techniques to estimate the relative robots poses at the start or during the mapping process. With map merging, the robots in contrast individually build local maps without any knowledge about their relative positions. The goal is then to identify regions of overlap at which the local maps can be joined together. A concrete approach to this idea is presented in form of a special similarity metric and a stochastic search algorithm. Given two maps m and m', the search algorithm transforms m' by rotations and translations to find a maximum overlap between m and m'. In doing so, the heuristic similarity metric guides the search algorithm toward optimal solutions. Results from experiments with up to six robots are presented based on simulated as well as real-world map data

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:94 ,  Issue: 7 )

Date of Publication:

July 2006

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