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Autonomous planetary rover navigation via active SLAM

Guoqing Li (Department of Aerospace Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)
Yunhai Geng (Research Center of Satellite Technology, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)
Wenzheng Zhang (Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 13 November 2018

Issue publication date: 30 January 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce an efficient active-simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) approach for rover navigation, future planetary rover exploration mission requires the rover to automatically localize itself with high accuracy.

Design/methodology/approach

A three-dimensional (3D) feature detection method is first proposed to extract salient features from the observed point cloud, after that, the salient features are employed as the candidate destinations for re-visiting under SLAM structure, followed by a path planning algorithm integrated with SLAM, wherein the path length and map utility are leveraged to reduce the growth rate of state estimation uncertainty.

Findings

The proposed approach is able to extract distinguishable 3D landmarks for feature re-visiting, and can be naturally integrated with any SLAM algorithms in an efficient manner to improve the navigation accuracy.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a novel active-SLAM structure for planetary rover exploration mission, the salient feature extraction method and active revisit patch planning method are validated to improve the accuracy of pose estimation.

Keywords

Citation

Li, G., Geng, Y. and Zhang, W. (2020), "Autonomous planetary rover navigation via active SLAM", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 91 No. 1, pp. 60-68. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-12-2016-0239

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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