Uncertainty Characterisation of Mobile Robot Localisation Techniques using Optical Surveying Grade Instruments

Sensors (Basel). 2018 Jul 13;18(7):2274. doi: 10.3390/s18072274.


Recent developments in localisation systems for autonomous robotic technology have been a driving factor in the deployment of robots in a wide variety of environments. Estimating sensor measurement noise is an essential factor when producing uncertainty models for state-of-the-art robotic positioning systems. In this paper, a surveying grade optical instrument in the form of a Trimble S7 Robotic Total Station is utilised to dynamically characterise the error of positioning sensors of a ground based unmanned robot. The error characteristics are used as inputs into the construction of a Localisation Extended Kalman Filter which fuses Pozyx Ultra-wideband range measurements with odometry to obtain an optimal position estimation, all whilst using the path generated from the remote tracking feature of the Robotic Total Station as a ground truth metric. Experiments show that the proposed method yields an improved positional estimation compared to the Pozyx systems' native firmware algorithm as well as producing a smoother trajectory.

Keywords: RTS; extended Kalman filter; localisation; robotic total station; ultra wide-band.