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Sensors 2013, 13(1), 1247-1267; doi:10.3390/s130101247

An Aerial-Ground Robotic System for Navigation and Obstacle Mapping in Large Outdoor Areas

Centro De Automética y Robótica, UPM-CSIC. Calle José Gutiérrez Abascal, 2. 28006 Madrid, Spain
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Received: 16 October 2012 / Revised: 24 December 2012 / Accepted: 14 January 2013 / Published: 21 January 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends towards Automatic Vehicle Control and Perception Systems)
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Abstract

There are many outdoor robotic applications where a robot must reach a goal position or explore an area without previous knowledge of the environment around it. Additionally, other applications (like path planning) require the use of known maps or previous information of the environment. This work presents a system composed by a terrestrial and an aerial robot that cooperate and share sensor information in order to address those requirements. The ground robot is able to navigate in an unknown large environment aided by visual feedback from a camera on board the aerial robot. At the same time, the obstacles are mapped in real-time by putting together the information from the camera and the positioning system of the ground robot. A set of experiments were carried out with the purpose of verifying the system applicability. The experiments were performed in a simulation environment and outdoor with a medium-sized ground robot and a mini quad-rotor. The proposed robotic system shows outstanding results in simultaneous navigation and mapping applications in large outdoor environments.
Keywords: autonomous navigation; cooperative perception; obstacle avoidance; outdoor mapping; collaborative robotics; UGV; UAV autonomous navigation; cooperative perception; obstacle avoidance; outdoor mapping; collaborative robotics; UGV; UAV
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Garzón, M.; Valente, J.; Zapata, D.; Barrientos, A. An Aerial-Ground Robotic System for Navigation and Obstacle Mapping in Large Outdoor Areas. Sensors 2013, 13, 1247-1267.

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