Markov Localization for Reliable Robot Navigation and People Detection

Dieter Fox, W. Burgard, and Sebastian Thrun
Proc. of the Dagstuhl Seminar on Modelling and Planning for Sensor-Based Intelligent Robot Systems, 1999.


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Abstract
Localization is one of the fundamental problems in mobile robotics. Without knowledge about their position mobile robots cannot efficiently carry out their tasks. In this paper we present Markov localization as a technique for estimating the position of a mobile robot. The key idea of this technique is to maintain a probability density over the whole state space of the robot within its environment. This way our technique is able to globally localize the robot from scratch and even to recover from localization failures, a property which is essential for truly autonomous robots. The probabilistic framework makes this approach robust against approximate models of the environment as well as noisy sensors. Based on a fine-grained, metric discretization of the state space, Markov localization is able to incorporate raw sensor readings and does not require predefined landmarks. It also includes a filtering technique which allows to reliably estimate the position of a mobile robot even in densely populated environments. We furthermore describe, how the explicit representation of the density can be exploited in a reactive collision avoidance system to increase the robustness and reliability of the robot even in situations in which it is uncertain about its position. The method described here has been implemented and tested in several real-world applications of mobile robots including the deployments of two mobile robots as interactive museum tour-guides.

Notes

Text Reference
Dieter Fox, W. Burgard, and Sebastian Thrun, "Markov Localization for Reliable Robot Navigation and People Detection," Proc. of the Dagstuhl Seminar on Modelling and Planning for Sensor-Based Intelligent Robot Systems, 1999.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Fox_1999_2663,
   author = "Dieter Fox and W. Burgard and Sebastian Thrun",
   title = "Markov Localization for Reliable Robot Navigation and People Detection",
   booktitle = "Proc. of the Dagstuhl Seminar on Modelling and Planning for Sensor-Based Intelligent Robot Systems",
   year = "1999",
}