Range-Only SLAM for Robots Operating Cooperatively with Sensor Networks
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A mobile robot we have developed is equipped with sensors to measure range to landmarks and can simultaneously localize itself as well as locate the landmarks. This modality is useful in those cases where environmental conditions preclude measurement of bearing (typically done optically) to landmarks. Here we extend the paradigm to consider the case where the landmarks (nodes of a sensor network) are able to measure range to each other. We show how the two capabilities are complimentary in being able to achieve a map of the landmarks and to provide localization for the moving robot. We present recent results with experiments on a robot operating in a randomly arranged network of nodes that can communicate via radio and range to each other using sonar. We find that incorporation of inter-node measurements helps reduce drift in positioning as well as leads to faster convergence of the map of the nodes. We find that addition of a mobile node makes the SLAM feasible in a sparsely connected network of nodes