A robust localization system for multi-robot formations based on an extension of a Gaussian mixture probability hypothesis density filter

This paper presents a strategy for providing reliable state estimates that allow a group of robots to realize a formation even when communication fails and the tracking data alone is insufficient for maintaining a stable formation. Furthermore, the tracking information does not provide the identity of the robot, therefore a simple fusion of tracking and communication data is not possible. We extend a Gaussian mixture probability hypothesis density filter to incorporate, firstly, absolute poses exchanged by the robots, and secondly, the geometry of the desired formation. Our method of combining communicated data, information about the formation and sensory detections is capable of maintaining the state estimates even when long-duration occlusions occur, and improves awareness of the situation when the communication is sporadic or suffers from short-term outage. The proposed method is validated using a high-fidelity simulator in scenarios with a formation of up to five robots. The results show that the proposed tracking strategy allows for sustaining formations in cluttered environments, with high measurement uncertainty and low quality communication.

Published in:
Autonomous Robots
Jun 20 2019

 Record created 2019-06-25, last modified 2019-06-26

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