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Proceedings Paper

Visualizing mobile robot sonar data using polygon set operations
Author(s): Alan D. Murta; Kenneth Roper
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Paper Abstract

Mobile robots commonly employ a variety of sensor in order to gather information about their immediate environment. Whereas some types of sensor produce a wealth of environmental information in a human-understandable for, it is often low-level data such as range-finder measurements which are of greatest interest to the operator. This paper describes an approach to the visualization of data form acoustic sensor which use echo-location to determine object distances. Acoustic distance measurement is problematic in that echoes may fail to be returned to the source, range assessments may be inaccurate, and ghost readings may also appear in the data. The visualization method described attempts to overcome the idiosyncrasies of acoustic sensing to present a relatively consistent representation of the robot's spatial environment to the operator. It maintains a geometric model of the perceived environment, allowing ambiguities in the current sensor data to be identified. The model is updated using polygon set operations to incorporate new sensor readings. Two features are recorded: the extent of free space identified within the environment, and the location of any obstacles which have been detected. This visualization approach is also tolerant to inaccuracies in odometry measurement. An experimental application of the method is reported.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 February 2000
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3960, Visual Data Exploration and Analysis VII, (28 February 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.378911
Show Author Affiliations
Alan D. Murta, Univ. of Manchester (United Kingdom)
Kenneth Roper, Univ. of Manchester (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3960:
Visual Data Exploration and Analysis VII
Robert F. Erbacher; Philip C. Chen; Jonathan C. Roberts; Craig M. Wittenbrink, Editor(s)

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