Robot Mapping and Localisation for Feature Sparse Water Pipes Using Voids as Landmarks
Robotic systems for water pipe inspection do not generally include navigation components for mapping the pipe network and locating damage. Such navigation systems would be highly advantageous for water companies because it would allow them to more effectively target maintenance and reduce costs. In water pipes, a major challenge for robot navigation is feature sparsity. In order to address this problem, a novel approach for robot navigation in water pipes is developed here, which uses a new type of landmark feature - voids outside the pipe wall, sensed by ultrasonic scanning. The method was successfully demonstrated in a laboratory environment and showed for the first time the potential of using voids for robot navigation in water pipes.
KeywordsRobot navigation Mapping Localisation Water pipes
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