Online localization of radio-tagged wildlife with an autonomous aerial robot system

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Robotics: Science and Systems, 2015, 11
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2015, MIT Press Journals. All rights reserved. The application of autonomous robots to efficiently locate small wildlife species has the potential to provide significant ecological insights not previously possible using traditional land-based survey techniques, and a basis for improved conservation policy and management. We present an approach for autonomously localizing radio-tagged wildlife using a small aerial robot. We present a novel two-point phased array antenna system that yields unambiguous bearing measurements and an associated uncertainty measure. Our estimation and information-based planning algorithms incorporate this bearing uncertainty to choose observation points that improve confidence in the location estimate. These algorithms run online in real time and we report experimental results that show successful autonomous localization of stationary radio tags and live radio-tagged birds.
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