TechTalks from event: Technical session talks from ICRA 2012

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  • 3-D Mutual Localization with Anonymous Bearing Measurements Authors: Cognetti, Marco; Stegagno, Paolo; Franchi, Antonio; Oriolo, Giuseppe; Buelthoff, Heinrich H.
    We present a decentralized algorithm for estimating mutual 3-D poses in a group of mobile robots, such as a team of UAVs. Our algorithm uses bearing measurements reconstructed, e.g., by a visual sensor, and inertial measurements coming from the robot IMU. Since identification of a specific robot in a group would require visual tagging and may be cumbersome in practice, we simply assume that the bearing measurements are anonymous. The proposed localization method is a non-trivial extension of our previous algorithm for the 2-D case, and exhibits similar performance and robustness. An experimental validation of the algorithm has been performed using quadrotor UAVs.
  • Online Model Estimation of Ultra-Wideband TDOA Measurements for Mobile Robot Localization Authors: Prorok, Amanda; Gonon, Lukas; Martinoli, Alcherio
    Ultra-wideband (UWB) localization is a recent technology that promises to outperform many indoor localization methods currently available. Yet, non-line-of-sight (NLOS) positioning scenarios can create large biases in the time-difference-of-arrival (TDOA) measurements, and must be addressed with accurate measurement models in order to avoid significant localization errors. In this work, we first develop an efficient, closed-form TDOA error model and analyze its estimation characteristics by calculating the Cramer-Rao lower bound (CRLB). We subsequently detail how an online Expectation Maximization (EM) algorithm is adopted to find an elegant formalism for the maximum likelihood estimate of the model parameters. We perform real experiments on a mobile robot equipped with an UWB emitter, and show that the online estimation algorithm leads to excellent localization performance due to its ability to adapt to the varying NLOS path conditions over time.
  • Orientation Only Loop-Closing with Closed-Form Trajectory Bending Authors: Dubbelman, Gijs; Browning, Brett; Hansen, Peter; Dias, M. Bernardine
    In earlier work closed-form trajectory bending was shown to provide an efficient and accurate out-of-core solution for loop-closing exactly sparse trajectories. Here we extend it to fuse exactly sparse trajectories, obtained from relative pose estimates, with absolute orientation data. This allows us to close-the-loop using absolute orientation data only. The benefit is that our approach does not rely on the observations from which the trajectory was estimated nor on the probabilistic links between poses in the trajectory. It therefore is highly efficient. The proposed method is compared against regular fusion and an iterative trajectory bending solution using a 5 km long urban trajectory. Proofs concerning optimality of our method are provided.
  • Capping Computation Time and Storage Requirements for Appearance-Based Localization with CAT− SLAM Authors: Maddern, William; Milford, Michael J; Wyeth, Gordon
    Appearance-based localization is increasingly used for loop closure detection in metric SLAM systems. Since it relies only upon the appearance-based similarity between images from two locations, it can perform loop closure regardless of accumulated metric error. However, the computation time and memory requirements of current appearance-based methods scale linearly not only with the size of the environment but also with the operation time of the platform. These properties impose severe restrictions on long-term autonomy for mobile robots, as loop closure performance will inevitably degrade with increased operation time. We present a set of improvements to the appearance-based SLAM algorithm CAT-SLAM to constrain computation scaling and memory usage with minimal degradation in performance over time. The appearance-based comparison stage is accelerated by exploiting properties of the particle observation update, and nodes in the continuous trajectory map are removed according to minimal information loss criteria. We demonstrate constant time and space loop closure detection in a large urban environment with recall performance exceeding FAB-MAP by a factor of 3 at 100% precision, and investigate the minimum computational and memory requirements for maintaining mapping performance.
  • Improving the Accuracy of EKF-Based Visual-Inertial Odometry Authors: Li, Mingyang; Mourikis, Anastasios
    In this paper, we perform a rigorous analysis of EKF-based visual-inertial odometry (VIO) and present a method for improving its performance. Specifically, we examine the properties of EKF-based VIO, and show that the standard way of computing Jacobians in the filter inevitably causes inconsistency and loss of accuracy. This result is derived based on an observability analysis of the EKF's linearized system model, which proves that the yaw erroneously appears to be observable. In order to address this problem, we propose modifications to the multi-state constraint Kalman filter (MSCKF) algorithm, which ensure the correct observability properties without incurring additional computational cost. Extensive simulation tests and real-world experiments demonstrate that the modified MSCKF algorithm outperforms competing methods, both in terms of consistency and accuracy.