Autonomous Robots

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 1-14

First online:

Target tracking without line of sight using range from radio

  • Geoffrey A. HollingerAffiliated withComputer Science Department, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California Email author 
  • , Joseph DjugashAffiliated withRobotics Institute, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
  • , Sanjiv SinghAffiliated withRobotics Institute, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

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We propose a framework for utilizing fixed ultra-wideband ranging radio nodes to track a moving target radio node in an environment without guaranteed line of sight or accurate odometry. For the case where the fixed nodes’ locations are known, we derive a Bayesian room-level tracking method that takes advantage of the structural characteristics of the environment to ensure robustness to noise. For the case of unknown fixed node locations, we present a two-step approach that first reconstructs the target node’s path using Gaussian Process Latent Variable models (GPLVMs) and then uses that path to determine the locations of the fixed nodes. We present experiments verifying our algorithm in an office environment, and we compare our results to those generated by online and batch SLAM methods, as well as odometry mapping. Our algorithm is successful at tracking a moving target node without odometry and mapping the locations of fixed nodes using radio ranging data that are both noisy and intermittent.


Range sensing Sensor networks Target tracking