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An Integrated Strategy for Autonomous Explorationof Spatial Processes in Unknown Environments

Karolj, Valentina and Viseras Ruiz, Alberto and Merino, Luis and Shutin, Dmitriy (2020) An Integrated Strategy for Autonomous Explorationof Spatial Processes in Unknown Environments. Sensors, 20 (13). Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). doi: 10.3390/s20133663. ISSN 1424-8220.

[img] PDF - Only accessible within DLR - Postprint version (accepted manuscript)

Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/20/13/3663


Exploration of spatial processes, such as radioactivity or temperature is a fundamental task in many robotic applications. In the literature, robotic exploration is mainly carried out for applications where the environment is \textsl{a priori} known. However, for most real life applications this assumption often does not hold, specifically for disaster scenarios. In this paper, we propose a novel integrated strategy that allows a robot to explore a spatial process of interest in an unknown environment. To this end, we build upon two major blocks. First, we propose the use of Gaussian Processes (GP) to model the spatial process of interest, and process entropy to drive the exploration. Second, we employ registration algorithms for robot mapping and localization, and frontier-based exploration to explore the environment. However, map and process exploration can be conflicting goals. Our integrated strategy fuses the two aforementioned blocks through a trade-off between process and map exploration. We carry out extensive evaluations of our algorithm in simulated environments with respect to different baselines and environments setups using simulated GP data as a process at hand. Additionally, we perform experimental verification with a mobile holonomic robot exploring a simulated process in an unknown labyrinth environment. Demonstrated results show that our integrated strategy outperforms both frontier-based and GP entropy-driven exploration strategies.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/135430/
Document Type:Article
Title:An Integrated Strategy for Autonomous Explorationof Spatial Processes in Unknown Environments
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Karolj, Valentinavalentina.karolj (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Viseras Ruiz, AlbertoAlberto.ViserasRuiz (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5219-6533
Merino, Luislmercab (at) upo.eshttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4927-8647
Shutin, Dmitriydmitriy.shutin (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6065-6453
Date:30 June 2020
Journal or Publication Title:Sensors
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Publisher:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Series Name:Special Issue "Advanced Sensing and Control for Mobile Robotic Systems"
Keywords:Gaussian process; exploration; mapping; autonomous robots; mobile robots; information gathering
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Communication and Navigation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R KN - Kommunikation und Navigation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben GNSS2/Neue Dienste und Produkte (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Communication and Navigation > Communications Systems
Deposited By: Shutin, Dmitriy
Deposited On:16 Jul 2020 18:06
Last Modified:17 Jul 2020 14:45

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