The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

MSc Thesis #9804

Title:Building a Full Metric Topological Map Using a Very Simple Mobile Robot
Date: 1998
Abstract:This thesis proposes a mapping system for simple mobile robots with limited perceptual capacities, that must be able to cope with noise. The thesis concentrates on the basic exploration function where the robot executes a wall following behaviour. It uses the resulting motor-sensory data to build a full metric topological map of the trajectory it traverses. The implementation is a layered architecture than consists of four algorithms. At the bottom is the wall following algorithm. It uses the proximity sensors to generate the appropriate motor commands. The motor commands are analysed by the movement chunking algorithm. It produces a compact sequence of movement chunks that encode the trajectory traversed by the robot. The loop detection algorithm extracts a single cyclic traversal from the sequence. The traversal is forwarded to the positioning algorithm in the top layer. It positions the locations in the topological map such that they best correspond to the available measurements. the performance of the basic exploration architecture is promising. Despite the presence of noise, the maps are of sufficient quality to suggest shortcuts and to guide further exploration.

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