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Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems

, Volume 43, Issue 2–4, pp 217–253 | Cite as

Intelligent and Efficient Strategy for Unstructured Environment Sensing Using Mobile Robot Agents

  • Vivek A. Sujan
  • Marco A. Meggiolaro
Article

Abstract

In field environments it is not usually possible to provide robots in advance with valid geometric models of its task and environment. The robot or robot teams need to create these models by scanning the environment with its sensors. Here, an information-based iterative algorithm to plan the robot's visual exploration strategy is proposed to enable it to most efficiently build 3D models of its environment and task. The method assumes mobile robot (or vehicle) with vision sensors mounted at a manipulator end-effector (eye-in-hand system). This algorithm efficiently repositions the systems' sensing agents using an information theoretic approach and fuses sensory information using physical models to yield a geometrically consistent environment map. This is achieved by utilizing a metric derived from Shannon's information theory to determine optimal sensing poses for the agent(s) mapping a highly unstructured environment. This map is then distributed among the agents using an information-based relevant data reduction scheme. This method is particularly well suited to unstructured environments, where sensor uncertainty is significant. Issues addressed include model-based multiple sensor data fusion, and uncertainty and vehicle suspension motion compensation. Simulation results show the effectiveness of this algorithm.

Keywords

visual mapping cooperative robots information theory unstructured environments data fusion 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Air Handling and Combustion Control DivisionCummins Engine CompanyColumbusU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringPontifical Catholic University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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