Detection of Specular Reflections in Range Measurements for Faultless Robotic SLAM

  • Rainer KochEmail author
  • Stefan May
  • Philipp Koch
  • Markus Kühn
  • Andreas Nüchter
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 417)


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.


SLAM Error-free mapping Multi-echo laser scanner Reflectance filter Specular reflection Reflective objects 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rainer Koch
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stefan May
    • 1
  • Philipp Koch
    • 1
  • Markus Kühn
    • 1
  • Andreas Nüchter
    • 2
  1. 1.Technische Hochschule Nürnberg Georg Simon OhmNürnbergGermany
  2. 2.Informatics VII – Robotics and TelematicsJulius-Maximilians University WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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