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Wayne State University Researcher's Technique Helps Robotic Vehicles Find Their Way, Help Humans

A concept robotic vehicle.

A new technique developed by researchers at Wayne State University provides robots with accurate 3D positioning data in real time.

Credit: Impress Robot Watch

Wayne State University researchers have developed a technique called LOBOT, which they say provides robots with accurate, real-time, three-dimensional (3D) positions in both indoor and outdoor environments.

The researchers believe small ground robotic vehicles have great potential for use in situations that are either uncomfortable or too tedious for humans. Their technique combines a global positioning system (GPS) receiver, local relative positioning based on a 3D accelerometer, a magnetic field sensor, and several motor rotation sensors.

LOBOT uses a hybrid approach that localizes robotic vehicles with infrequent GPS use, a 3D version of the accelerometer used in other inertial sensor systems, and several motor rotation sensors, all of which are installed on the robotic vehicle.

"Our goal has been to solve a problem by building a robot that leverages a number of existing technologies that can be used to address the problem of location, which is the key to many possible applications," says Wayne State University professor Weisong Shi. "Because of the increasing number of things robots will be needed to do in the next five to 10 years, it is very important to develop a cheaper, low-powered approach that can address that problem as accurately as possible."

From Wayne State University (MI)
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