Calibration of a Rotating Laser Range Finder using Intensity Features

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Conference Proceeding
2018 15th International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision, ICARCV 2018, 2018, pp. 228 - 234
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© 2018 IEEE. This paper presents an algorithm for calibrating a '3D range sensor' constructed using a two-dimensional laser range finder (LRF), that is rotated about an axis using a motor to obtain a three-dimensional point cloud. The sensor assembly is modelled as a two degree of freedom open kinematic chain, with one joint corresponding to the axis of the internal mirror in the LRF and the other joint set along the axis of the motor used to rotate the body of the LRF. In the application described in this paper, the sensor unit is mounted on a robot arm used for infrastructure inspection. The objective of the calibration process is to obtain the coordinate transform required to compute the locations of the 3D points with respect to the robot coordinate frame. Proposed strategy uses observations of a set of markers arbitrarily placed in the environment. Distances between these markers are measured and a metric multidimensional scaling is used to obtain the coordinates of the markers with respect to a local coordinate frame. Intensity associated with each beam point of a laser scan is used to locate the reflective markers in the 3D point cloud and a least squares problem is formulated to compute the relationship between the robot coordinate frame, LRF coordinate frame and the marker coordinate frame. Results from experiments using the robot, LRF combination to map a cavity inside a steel bridge structure are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the calibration process.
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