Angle-Based Methods for Mobile Robot Navigation: Reaching the Entire Plane

K. E. Bekris, A. A. Argyros, and L. E. Kavraki, “Angle-Based Methods for Mobile Robot Navigation: Reaching the Entire Plane,” in Proceedings of The IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), New Orleans, LA, 2004, pp. 2373–2378.


Popular approaches for mobile robot navigation involve range information and metric maps of the workspace. For many sensors, however, such as cameras and wireless hardware, the angle between two extracted features or beacons is easier to measure. With these sensors’ features in mind, this paper initially presents a control law, which allows a robot equipped with an omni-directional sensor to reach a subset of the plane by monitoring the angles of only three landmarks. By analyzing the properties of this law, a second law has been developed that reaches the complementary set of points. The two methods are then combined in a path planning framework that reaches any possible goal configuration in a planar obstacle-free workspace with three landmarks. The proposed framework could be combined with other techniques, such as obstacle avoidance and topological maps, to improve the efficiency of autonomous navigation. Experiments have been conducted on a robotic platform equipped with a panoramic camera that exhibits the effectiveness and accuracy of the proposed techniques. This work provides evidence that navigational tasks can be performed using only a small number of primitive sensor cues and without the explicit computation of range information.


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