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Using emergency maps to add not yet explored places into SLAM
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology. (AASS MRO Lab)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3079-0512
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology. (AASS MRO Lab)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8658-2985
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology. (AASS MRO Lab)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2953-1564
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology. (AASS MRO Lab)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0217-9326
2017 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

While using robots in search and rescue missions would help ensure the safety of first responders, a key issue is the time needed by the robot to operate. Even though SLAM is faster and faster, it might still be too slow to enable the use of robots in critical situations. One way to speed up operation time is to use prior information.

We aim at integrating emergency-maps into SLAM to complete the SLAM map with information about not yet explored part of the environment. By integrating prior information, we can speed up exploration time or provide valuable prior information for navigation, for example, in case of sensor blackout/failure. However, while extensively used by firemen in their operations, emergency maps are not easy to integrate in SLAM since they are often not up to date or with non consistent scales.

The main challenge we are tackling is in dealing with the imperfect scale of the rough emergency maps and integrate it with the online SLAM map in addition to challenges due to incorrect matches between these two types of map. We developed a formulation of graph-based SLAM incorporating information from an emergency map into SLAM, and propose a novel optimization process adapted to this formulation.

We extract corners from the emergency map and the SLAM map, in between which we find correspondences using a distance measure. We then build a graph representation associating information from the emergency map and the SLAM map. Corners in the emergency map, corners in the robot map, and robot poses are added as nodes in the graph, while odometry, corner observations, walls in the emergency map, and corner associations are added as edges. To conserve the topology of the emergency map, but correct its possible errors in scale, edges representing the emergency map's walls are given a covariance so that they are easy to extend or shrink but hard to rotate. Correspondences between corners represent a zero transformation for the optimization to match them as close as possible. The graph optimization is done by using a combination robust kernels. We first use the Huber kernel, to converge toward a good solution, followed by Dynamic Covariance Scaling, to handle the remaining errors.

We demonstrate our system in an office environment. We run the SLAM online during the exploration. Using the map enhanced by information from the emergency map, the robot was able to plan the shortest path toward a place it has not yet explored. This capability can be a real asset in complex buildings where exploration can take up a long time. It can also reduce exploration time by avoiding exploration of dead-ends, or search of specific places since the robot knows where it is in the emergency map.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
Search and Rescue Robots, SLAM, Mapping
National Category
Robotics
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-61905OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-61905DiVA, id: diva2:1151040
Conference
2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Vancouver, Canada, September 24-28, 2017
Projects
SmokeBotAvailable from: 2017-10-20 Created: 2017-10-20 Last updated: 2018-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Mielle, MalcolmMagnusson, MartinAndreasson, HenrikLilienthal, Achim

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CiteExportLink to record
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