Autonomous Robot Manipulator-Based Exploration And Mapping System For Bridge Maintenance

Elsevier Science Bv
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Robotics And Autonomous Systems, 2011, 59 (7-8), pp. 543 - 554
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This paper presents a system for Autonomous eXploration to Build A Map (AXBAM) of an unknown, 3D complex steel bridge structure using a 6 degree-of-freedom anthropomorphic robot manipulator instrumented with a laser range scanner. The proposed algorithm considers the trade-off between the predicted environment information gain available from a sensing viewpoint and the manipulator joint angle changes required to position a sensor at that viewpoint, and then obtains collision-free paths through safe, previously explored regions. Information gathered from multiple viewpoints is fused to achieve a detailed 3D map. Experimental results show that the AXBAM system explores and builds quality maps of complex unknown regions in a consistent and timely manner.
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