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Can I localize with imprecise/noisy sonar sensor?

asked 2016-06-19 22:38:10 -0500

triantatwo gravatar image

I have a small differential drive robot with a single sonar sensor mounted on the front of it. I also have an IMU and GPS on the vehicle. My goal is to navigate from one point to another in an unknown environment and avoid obstacles along the way.

At the moment we're testing indoors, so the GPS is out of the picture. I want to be able to send a waypoint via rviz (simulating a GPS coordinate waypoint) and have the vehicle navigate there.

I don't believe mapping is necessary for my application, however I think localization is - or else how would it know it arrived at its destination? I plan on using robot localization to combine my IMU and odometry sensors and create a pose estimate. But won't that estimate drift over time?

Does ROS have any packages that will enable my robot to correct for odometry drift and adjust itself in the map frame, using sonar data? What I've seen used so far is support for LIDAR and LaserScan messages along with gmapping or hector_slam, but I don't have that hardware.

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Does your sonar produce only a single range measurement?

Tom Moore gravatar image Tom Moore  ( 2016-06-20 02:11:48 -0500 )edit

Yes, the sonar only produces a single measurement. However it's also attached to a servo motor, so I could potentially halt the vehicle and scan at discrete intervals. The sonar hardware is:

triantatwo gravatar image triantatwo  ( 2016-06-20 08:48:03 -0500 )edit

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answered 2016-06-21 08:35:13 -0500

I would say no. Sonar sensors read in a cone, therefore you can't be sure that what you detect is directly in front of the sensor. You can use sonar to make sure that you don't approach too close to an obstacle, but I don't think it will help much with localization.

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Asked: 2016-06-19 22:38:10 -0500

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Last updated: Jun 21 '16