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Study on the Use of Vision and Laser Range Sensors with Graphical Models for the SLAM Problem

Ellon Paiva Mendes 1
1 LAAS-RIS - Équipe Robotique et InteractionS
LAAS - Laboratoire d'analyse et d'architecture des systèmes
Abstract : A strong requirement to deploy autonomous mobile robots is their capacity to localize themselves with a certain precision in relation to their environment. Localization exploits data gathered by sensors that either observe the inner states of the robot, like acceleration and speed, or the environment, like cameras and Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) sensors. The use of environment sensors has triggered the development of localization solutions that jointly estimate the robot position and the position of elements in the environment, referred to as Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) approaches. To handle the noise inherent of the data coming from the sensors, SLAM solutions are implemented in a probabilistic framework. First developments were based on Extended Kalman Filters, while a more recent developments use probabilistic graphical models to model the estimation problem and solve it through optimization. This thesis exploits the latter approach to develop two distinct techniques for autonomous ground vehicles: oneusing monocular vision, the other one using LIDAR. The lack of depth information in camera images has fostered the use of specific landmark parametrizations that isolate the unknown depth in one variable, concentrating its large uncertainty into a single parameter. One of these parametrizations, named Parallax Angle Parametrization, was originally introduced in the context of the Bundle Adjustment problem, that processes all the gathered data in a single global optimization step. We present how to exploit this parametrization in an incremental graph-based SLAM approach in which robot motion measures are also incorporated. LIDAR sensors can be used to build odometry-like solutions for localization by sequentially registering the point clouds acquired along a robot trajectory. We define a graphical model layer on top of a LIDAR odometry layer, that uses the Iterative Closest Points (ICP) algorithm as registration technique. Reference frames are defined along the robot trajectory, and ICP results are used to build a pose graph, used to solve an optimization problem that enables the correction of the robot trajectory and the environment map upon loop closures. After an introduction to the theory of graphical models applied to SLAM problem, the manuscript depicts these two approaches. Simulated and experimental results illustrate the developments throughout the manuscript, using classic and in-house datasets.
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Ellon Paiva Mendes. Study on the Use of Vision and Laser Range Sensors with Graphical Models for the SLAM Problem. Automatic. INSA de Toulouse, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017ISAT0016⟩. ⟨tel-01676275v2⟩

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