Autonomous Robots

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 15–28 | Cite as

Information based indoor environment robotic exploration and modeling using 2-D images and graphs

  • Vivek A. Sujan
  • Marco A. Meggiolaro
  • Felipe A. W. Belo


As the autonomy of personal service robotic systems increases so has their need to interact with their environment. The most basic interaction a robotic agent may have with its environment is to sense and navigate through it. For many applications it is not usually practical to provide robots in advance with valid geometric models of their environment. The robot will need to create these models by moving around and sensing the environment, while minimizing the complexity of the required sensing hardware. Here, an information-based iterative algorithm is proposed to plan the robot's visual exploration strategy, enabling it to most efficiently build a graph model of its environment. The algorithm is based on determining the information present in sub-regions of a 2-D panoramic image of the environment from the robot's current location using a single camera fixed on the mobile robot. Using a metric based on Shannon's information theory, the algorithm determines potential locations of nodes from which to further image the environment. Using a feature tracking process, the algorithm helps navigate the robot to each new node, where the imaging process is repeated. A Mellin transform and tracking process is used to guide the robot back to a previous node. This imaging, evaluation, branching and retracing its steps continues until the robot has mapped the environment to a pre-specified level of detail. The set of nodes and the images taken at each node are combined into a graph to model the environment. By tracing its path from node to node, a service robot can navigate around its environment. This method is particularly well suited for flat-floored environments. Experimental results show the effectiveness of this algorithm.


Mobile robots Localization Map building SLAM Information theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivek A. Sujan
    • 1
  • Marco A. Meggiolaro
    • 2
  • Felipe A. W. Belo
    • 3
  1. 1.Advanced Controls DivisionCummins Engine CompanyColumbus
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pontifical CatholicUniversity of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Electrical Engineering, Pontifical CatholicUniversity of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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