Registration algorithm optimized for simultaneous localization and mapping
Autre titre : Algorithme de référencement optimisé pour la localisation et la cartographie simultanées
Date de publication2008
Building maps within an unknown environment while keeping track of the current position is a major step to accomplish safe and autonomous robot navigation. Within the last 20 years, Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM) became a topic of great interest in robotics. The basic idea of this technique is to combine proprioceptive robot motion information with external environmental information to minimize global positioning errors. Because the robot is moving in its environment, exteroceptive data comes from different points of view and must be expressed in the same coordinate system to be combined. The latter process is called registration. Iterative Closest Point (ICP) is a registration algorithm with very good performances in several 3D model reconstruction applications, and was recently applied to SLAM. However, SLAM has specific needs in terms of real-time and robustness comparatively to 3D model reconstructions, leaving room for specialized robotic mapping optimizations in relation to robot mapping. After reviewing existing SLAM approaches, this thesis introduces a new registration variant called Kd-ICP. This referencing technique iteratively decreases the error between misaligned point clouds without extracting specific environmental features. Results demonstrate that the new rejection technique used to achieve mapping registration is more robust to large initial positioning errors. Experiments with simulated and real environments suggest that Kd-ICP is more robust compared to other ICP variants. Moreover, the Kd-ICP is fast enough for real-time applications and is able to deal with sensor occlusions and partially overlapping maps. Realizing fast and robust local map registrations opens the door to new opportunities in SLAM. It becomes feasible to minimize the cumulation of robot positioning errors, to fuse local environmental information, to reduce memory usage when the robot is revisiting the same location. It is also possible to evaluate network constrains needed to minimize global mapping errors.
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