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Iterated Filters for Bearing-Only SLAM

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journal contribution
posted on 01.05.2008, 00:00 authored by Stephen Tully, Hyungpil Moon, George Kantor, Howie Choset

This paper discusses the importance of iteration when performing the measurement update step for the problem of bearing-only SLAM. We focus on an undelayed approach that initializes a landmark after only one bearing measurement. Traditionally, the extended Kalman filter (EKF) has been used for SLAM, but the EKF measurement update rule can often lead to a divergent state estimate due to its inconsistency in linearization. We discuss the flaws of the EKF in this paper, and show that even the well established inverse-depth parametrization for bearing-only SLAM can be affected. We then show that representing the bearing-only update as a numerical optimization problem (solved with an iterative approach such as Gauss-Newton minimization) prevents divergence of the Kalman filter state and produces accurate SLAM results for a bearing-only sensor. More specifically, we propose the use of an iterated Kalman filter to resolve the issues normally associated with the EKF measurement update. Two outdoor mobile robot experiments are discussed to compare algorithm performance.