Mapping and localization for indoor robotic navigation is a well-studied field. However, existing work largely relies on long range perceptive sensors in addition to the robots odometry, and little has been done with short range sensors. In this paper, we propose a method for real-time indoor mapping using only short range sensors such as bumpers and/or wall sensors that enable wall-following. The method uses odometry data from the robots wall-following trajectory, together with readings from bumpers and wall sensors. The method first performs trace segmentation by fitting line segments to the noisy trajectory. Given the assumption of approximately rectilinear structure in the floor plans, typical for most indoor environments, a probabilistic rectification process is then applied to the segmented traces to obtain the orthogonal wall outlines. Both segmentation and rectification are performed on-line onboard the robot during its navigation through the environment. The resulting map is a set of line segments that represents the wall outline. The method has been tested in office buildings. Experimental results have shown that the method is robust to noisy odometry and non-rectilinear obstacles along the walls.
Zhang, Y.; Liu, J. J.; Hoffmann, G.; Quilling, M.; Payne, K.; Bose, P.; Zimdars, A. Real-time indoor mapping for mobile robots with limited sensing. 3rd International Workshop on Mobile Entity Localization and Tracking (MELT 2010) at IEEE MASS 2010; 2010 November 8; San Francisco CA. Piscataway, NJ: IEEE; 2010; 636-641