Published in Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics & Automation: Niagra Falls, Canada, Volume 2, July 1, 2005, pages 671-676.
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NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Christopher Clark was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
This paper presents a distributed particle filter algorithm for localizing multiple mobile robots that are equipped only with low cost/low power sensors. This method is applicable to multi-micro robot systems, where size limitations restrict sensor selection (e.g. small infrared range finders). Localization of three robots in a known environment is conducted by combining measurements from a small number of simple range sensors with inter-robot distances obtained through an acoustic range finder system. The localization problem is formulated as estimating the global position and orientation of a single triangle, where corners of the triangle represent the positions of robots. The robot positions relative to the centroid of the triangle are then determined by trilateration using the inter-robot distance measurements. Each robot uses an identical particle filter algorithm to estimate the global position of the triangle. The best estimates determined by each particle filter are distributed among the robots for use in the following iteration. Simulations demonstrate the ability to perform global localization of three robots, each using a compass and two range finders. The results illustrate that this method can globally localize the robot team in a simulated indoor environment The results are compared to simulations where robots have access to only their own sensor data, which are unable to successfully localize under equivalent conditions.