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Vision-based robot localization using artificial and natural landmarks

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2004
Arıcan, Zafer
In mobile robot applications, it is an important issue for a robot to know where it is. Accurate localization becomes crucial for navigation and map building applications because both route to follow and positions of the objects to be inserted into the map highly depend on the position of the robot in the environment. For localization, the robot uses the measurements that it takes by various devices such as laser rangefinders, sonars, odometry devices and vision. Generally these devices give the distances of the objects in the environment to the robot and proceesing these distance information, the robot finds its location in the environment. In this thesis, two vision-based robot localization algorithms are implemented. The first algorithm uses artificial landmarks as the objects around the robot and by measuring the positions of these landmarks with respect to the camera system, the robot locates itself in the environment. Locations of these landmarks are known. The second algorithm instead of using artificial landmarks, estimates its location by measuring the positions of the objects that naturally exist in the environment. These objects are treated as natural landmarks and locations of these landmarks are not known initially. A three-wheeled robot base on which a stereo camera system is mounted is used as the mobile robot unit. Processing and control tasks of the system is performed by a stationary PC. Experiments are performed on this robot system. The stereo camera system is the measurement device for this robot.