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A modified sensor fusion framework for quantifying and removing the effect of harsh environmental condition for reliable mobile robot mapping

Ravinder Singh (Dr BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, India)
Kuldeep Singh Nagla (Dr BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, India)

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Article publication date: 11 June 2019

Issue publication date: 26 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

An autonomous mobile robot requires efficient perception of the environment to perform various tasks in a challenging environment. The precise sensory information from the range sensors is required to accomplish prerequisites, such as SLAM, path planning and localization. But the accuracy and precision of the sensors become unreliable in harsh environmental conditions because of the effect of rain, dust, humidity, fog and smoke. The purpose of this paper is to generate robust mapping of the environment in harsh environmental conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a novel technique, averaging data with short range selection (ADWSRS), to reduce the effect of harsh environmental (rain, wind, humidity, etc.) conditions on sensory information (range) to generate reliable grid mapping. The sensory information on laser and sonar sensors in terms of probability values (occupied/unoccupied cell) in generating grid maps are fused after passing through two newly designed pre-processing filters: laser averaging filter and short range selection filter. This proposed approach relies on various aspects such as averaging laser data analogous to current pose of the sensor, selection of short range with respect to threshold value to remove the effect of specular reflection/crosstalk of sonar and a newly designed apparatus in which dirt cover (glass cover) and air blower are coupled to remove the influence of dirt, rain and humidity.

Findings

This proposed approach is tested in different environmental conditions, and to verify the consistency of the proposed approach, qualitative and quantitative analyses are carried out, which shows 42.5 per cent improvement in the probability value of occupied cells in the generated grid map.

Originality/value

The proposed ADWSRS approach reduced the effect of harsh environmental conditions such as fog, rain and smoke to generate efficient mapping of the environment, which may be implemented in diverse applications such as autonomous navigation, localization, path planning and mapping.

Keywords

Citation

Singh, R. and Nagla, K.S. (2019), "A modified sensor fusion framework for quantifying and removing the effect of harsh environmental condition for reliable mobile robot mapping", Sensor Review, Vol. 39 No. 4, pp. 456-472. https://doi.org/10.1108/SR-10-2018-0272

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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