Detection of Specular Reflections in Range Measurements for Faultless Robotic SLAM
Laser scanners are state-of-the-art devices used for mapping in service, industry, medical and rescue robotics. Although a lot of work has been done in laser-based SLAM, maps still suffer from interferences caused by objects like glass, mirrors and shiny or translucent surfaces. Depending on the surface’s reflectivity, a laser beam is deflected such that returned measurements provide wrong distance data. At certain positions phantom-like objects appear. This paper describes a specular reflectance detection approach applicable to the emerging technology of multi-echo laser scanners in order to identify and filter reflective objects. Two filter stages are implemented. The first filter reduces errors in current scans on the fly. A second filter evaluates a set of laser scans, triggered as soon as a reflective surface has been passed. This makes the reflective surface detection more robust and is used to refine the registered map. Experiments demonstrate the detection and elimination of reflection errors. They show improved localization and mapping in environments containing mirrors and large glass fronts is improved.
KeywordsSLAM Error-free mapping Multi-echo laser scanner Reflectance filter Specular reflection Reflective objects
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