2D Laser SLAM with General Features Represented by Implicit Functions

Publication Type:
Journal Article
IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2020, 5, (3), pp. 4329-4336
Issue Date:
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© 2016 IEEE. The main contribution of this letter is the problem formulation and algorithm framework for 2D laser SLAM with general features represented by implicit functions. Since 2D laser data reflect the distances from the robot to the boundary of objects in the environment, it is natural to use the boundary of the general objects/features within the 2D environment to describe the features. Implicit functions can be used to represent almost arbitrary shapes from simple (e.g. circle, ellipse, line) to complex (e.g. a cross-section of a bunny model), thus it is worth studying implicit-expressed feature in 2D laser SLAM. In this letter, we clearly formulate the SLAM problem with implicit functions as features, with rigorously computed observation covariance matrix to be used in the SLAM objective function and propose a solution framework. Furthermore, we use ellipses and lines as examples to compare the proposed SLAM method with the traditional pre-fit method (represent the feature using its parameters and pre-fit the laser scan to get the fitted parameter as virtual observations). Simulation and experimental results show that our proposed method has a better performance compared with the pre-fit method and other methods, demonstrating the potential of this new SLAM formulation and method.
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