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Mutual localization in a team of autonomous robots using acoustic robot detection

By David Becker, Max Risler and Technische Universität Darmstadt


Abstract. In order to improve self-localization accuracy we are exploring ways of mutual localization in a team of autonomous robots. Detecting team mates visually usually leads to inaccurate bearings and only rough distance estimates. Also, visually identifying teammates is not possible. Therefore we are investigating methods of gaining relative position information acoustically in a team of robots. The technique introduced in this paper is a variant of code-multiplexed communication (CDMA, code division multiple access). In a CDMA system, several receivers and senders can communicate at the same time, using the same carrier frequency. Well-known examples of CDMA systems include wireless computer networks and the Global Positioning System, GPS. While these systems use electro-magnetic waves, we will try to adopt the CDMA principle towards using acoustic pattern recognition, enabling robots to calculate distances and bearings to each other. First, we explain the general idea of cross-correlation functions and appropriate signal pattern generation. We will further explain the importance of synchronized clocks and discuss the problems arising from clock drifts. Finally, we describe an implementation using the Aibo ERS-7 as platform and briefly state basic results, including measurement accuracy and a runtime estimate. We will briefly discuss acoustic localization in the specific scenario of a RoboCup soccer game.

Year: 2010
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