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Mobile Robot Localization Using Neural Networks

Mobile Robot Localization Using Neural Networks

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An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards (Ireland) Competition by Haoming Xu. Originally submitted for LM110 at University of Limerick, with lecturer John James Collins in the category of Computer Science and Information Technology
An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards (Ireland) Competition by Haoming Xu. Originally submitted for LM110 at University of Limerick, with lecturer John James Collins in the category of Computer Science and Information Technology

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
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10/27/2013

 
Mobile Robot Localization Using Neural Networks
Haoming Xu
Department of Computer Scienceand Information SystemsUniversity of Limerick IrelandEmail: ssnhcom@hotmail.com
John James Collins
Department of Computer Scienceand Information SystemsUniversity of Limerick IrelandEmail: J.J.Collins@ul.ie
 Abstract
—The algorithm of robot position is very importantto consistency of map building, and odometry is one of mostlyused methods for robot position. Currently few robot positionsystems support calibration of odometry errors in both indoorand outdoor environments. To achieve this the mobile robot hasto able to find task solution to unknown environment, learningfrom experience and recognizing the similar new environment.This paper proposed a method where a Feed-forward neuralnetwork used for calibrating the odometry of both synchronousand differential drive mobile robots, and the standard Back-Propagation technique is used. In this method, integrates non-linear problem solving, environment recognition and learningcapabilities. Although neural network is trained in generalenvironment for once, and then perform nonlinear control basedon its nonlinear input-output mapping ability. It is unnecessaryto learn again in new environment. The paper also examinedcalibration method based on optimization and compared withneural network. The different length and shape of paths denotethat the neural network approach reduce the accumulative errorsof odometry efficiently, and improves the accuracy for robotduring map building. Experiment results demonstrate that theneural network approaches trained by Bayesian Regularizationprovide improved performance and are suitable for this purpose.
I. I
NTRODUCTION
Autonomous mobile robot localization, map building andSimultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) are regardedas important competence in the field of robotics [1,2]. Mapbuilding is estimating the position of the robot relative tothe map and generating a map using the accuracy coordinatesensory input and the estimates about the robot’s pose [3].Localization emphasize estimate the position of a robot in itsmap frame, given a map of the environment and the sensorreadings [4], and SLAM is focus on robot in an unknownlocation and environment, and have the robot simultaneouslyestimating positions of newly perceived landmarks, and deter-mining position of mobile robot itself while mapping [5]. Thispaper is focus on localization only. Odometry is one of mostwidely used methods for positioning of mobile robots, andaccumulated error in odometry is usually caused by unequalfloor contact, unequal wheel diameter, measurement resolution[6]. Whereas most of todays mapping and localization systemsare able to deal with noise in the odometry - estimating arobot’s pose relative to its environment, and the odometry errorproblem is a key problem in mobile robotics [3,4]. Odometryerror provides accuracy for robot map building in short-periodof time. Estimation of odometry is difficult which is hard tocapture, odometry usually leads to the accumulation of errors.In addition, the accumulation of position error and orientationerror will increase proportionally with distance traveled byrobot. The substantial amounts of position error accumulatedduring robot exploration, as a result, sensor information wasincorporated into the map at the wrong locations, and themagnitude of this error increased over time [7].
 A. Prior Work 
Robot odometry error calibration is not a novel idea, alot of investigation has been carried out on the odometryerror. From the theoretical perspectives, Kleeman presented asimple statistical systematic error model for estimating robot’sposition and orientation based on computing odometry covari-ance matrix, the method relies on incrementally updating thecovariance matrix in small time steps. The approach assumesthe odometry error are exclusively random zero mean whitenoise [8]. Borenstein and Feng introduce a calibrate methodcalled UMBmark which is based on solving geometric relation.Due to the consideration of this method, estimate and calibratefor systematic errors of a mobile robot with a differential drivewhich observable on 4m * 4m pre-programmed closed squaredtrajectory [9]. Chong and Kleeman presentes a error modelingof low cost odometry system capable of achieving hight accu-racy dead-locking. The solution is obtained for non-systematicerror on constant curvature paths by solving a recurrenceformula, The experiment designed is same as in Borensteinand Feng’s paper [10]. Kelly builds on Chong and Kleeman’searlier work and develops a general solution for nonlinearsystematic error propagation dynanmics of both systematic andrandom error in vehicle odometry for any trajectory and anyerror model [11]. Roy.N and Thrun.S proposed a statisticalmethod for calibrating the odometry of mobile robots whichis an efficient, incremental maximum likehood algorithm. Themethod is used to increase the position estimation accuracyon-line during robot navigation in an unknown environment[12]. System error concerned with an augmented KalmanFilter (AKF) for both synchronous-drive and differential-drivemobile robot systems during navigation proposed by Martinelliand Siegwart [13]. The major missing element from all theabove work is absence of a technique that can both calibrateodometry error indoors and doors, and those system have some
 
common drawbacks such as large computation problem, hardimplementation and the complexity of the system. We do notsufficiently justify the need for a new method given by Thrun’ssuccess with a maximum likehood online approach.
 B. Motivation
The major drawback of those research is that orientation willnot work in large open spaces or feature rich environments, andodometry error relationship has to be chosen before analysis.This paper wants to present a new approach for mobile robotwhich can adapt for both systematic error and non-systematicerror during map building. This allows the robot to performmore reliable position estimation in areas of the unknownenvironment which means robot builds more accuracy map forthe environment. Furthermore, our approach does not requireany specific hardware, such as in the technique approachof Borenstein and Feng [9]. We address the odometry er-ror calibration problem through neural network in order tobe applied easily and more flexible. Our approach phrasesthe odometry error of mobile robot as nonlinear dynamicalsystem [14]. Neural network approach provides solutions of nonlinear analysis problems, and it could learn odometryerror relationship directly from the data being modeled. Onthe other hand, neural network solutions could be of somedrawback because sometimes neural network can not find thebest solution, network was trapped to the local minimum andhard to escape. Concerning the systematic component, weintroduce four different Feed Forward neural network schemesto estimate error for mobile robot. Similarly, all of the fourschemes employ Back Propagation algorithm, however, theyemploy different transfer functions and training functions. Thepurpose of this design aims at the intercomparsion amongthe four schemes, and the optimal neural network schemeto estimate robot odometry error. In this paper we alsocompare the performance of the neural network developed tosolve linearized calibration problem with the performance of optimization calibration approach.
C. Paper Structure
The paper is organized as follows. Section II describes theodometry error model for mobile robots with both synchronousand differential drive. Section III introduces robot positionestimate system. The data processing algorithm is describedin section IV. Section V explains the neural network schemesdesigned for robot odometry error. Section VI displays fourdifferent neural network schemes with 3 different test cases,the test environment is developed for straight lines Environ-ment I and turning with
90
II and Environment III canbe composed of Environment I and II without great lossif accuracy. Section VII analyzes the estimated error resultsbetween different schemes.II. O
DOMETRY
E
RROR
M
ODELS
The odometry error of mobile robot consists of systematicodometry error and non-systematic odometry error. System-atic error is usually caused by faultiness in the design andmechanical implementation of a mobile robot. The key factorof odometry error for differential-drive mobile robot is causedby the following reasons, first is unequal wheel diameters;second is uncertainty about the effective wheelbase, and non-systematic odometry error is caused by faultiness features of the circumstance [9]. For instance ceramic tile floor surfacewill cause wheel skid. In order to unequal wheel diameters,we will define robot error position and orientation as,
0
=
x
0
y
0
θ
0
1
=
x
1
y
1
θ
1
(1)where,
0
is the actual robot position in the beginning, and
1
is the actual position at the end.Next
v
l
and
v
r
translating velocities of the left and right wheel,respectively.
b
means distance between left wheel and rightwheel. Rewrite
1
into Eq. (2),
1
=
x
1
y
1
θ
1
=
x
0
y
0
θ
0
+
v
l
+
v
r
2
cos
θ
+
v
l
v
r
2
b
v
l
+
v
r
2
sin
θ
+
v
l
v
r
2
b
v
l
v
r
2
b
(2)And we can denote
ˆ
O
rot
and
ˆ
O
trans
as robot actualtranslation and rotation, respectively.
ˆ
O
rot
=
v
l
v
r
2
b
ˆ
O
trans
=
v
l
+
v
r
2
b
(3)Recall that
O
=
ˆ
O
rot
,
ˆ
O
trans
is the displacement mea-sured by the robot. If robot odometry is 100% accurate, thatmeans there is no odometry error problem. In this condition
O
trans
=ˆ
O
trans
and
O
rot
=ˆ
O
rot
. Substituting Eq. (3) intoEq. (2), and we obtain,
1
=
x
1
y
1
θ
1
=
x
0
y
0
θ
0
+
ˆ
O
trans
cos
θ
+ˆ
O
rot
ˆ
O
trans
sin
θ
+ˆ
O
rot
ˆ
O
rot
(4)The accumulated odometry error influences by two factors:a systematic error and a random error, where the random errorhas an excepted value of zero mean. More specifically, the truerotation and translation can be rewrite as following [12],
ˆ
O
trans
=
O
trans
+
δ 
trans
|
d
|
+
ε
trans
ˆ
O
rot
=
O
rot
+
δ 
rot
|
d
|
+
ε
rot
(5)Here
ε
rot
and
ε
trans
are the receptive random errors vari-ables with zero mean in orientation changed and distancetraveled,
d
is distance traveled by mobile robot.
δ 
tans
and
δ 
rot
are the parameters of system error in distance traveledand system error in orientation changed, respectively. So theexpanded kinematics model for robot actual final position canbe rewrite as following,
 
1
=
x
0
+ (
O
trans
+
δ 
trans
|
d
|
cos(
O
rot
+
δ 
rot
|
d
|
+
ε
rot
))
y
0
+ (
O
trans
+
δ 
trans
|
d
|
sin(
O
rot
+
δ 
rot
|
d
|
+
ε
rot
))
θ
0
+
O
rot
+
δ 
rot
|
d
|
+
ε
rot
(6)Section VII presents a solution for Eq. (6) that is used tobenchmark neural network approach.III. P
OSITION
E
STIMATION
S
YSTEM
The robots actual trajectory is processed from the datacaptured from the laser scanner based on a real time trajectorymeasurement system, which consist two hardware compo-nents: SICK Laser Measurement Sensor (LMS) 200 and dataacquisition computer. The laser scanner measures a pole placedon top of, and center at the axes of mobile robot. The pole isa hand-made, 3 centimeters (cm) diameter and 30 cm heightpaper pillar, which is painted to white color with low lightreflect varnish. The measurement data will be sent to computervia serial port communication (RS-232). SICK LMS-200 is aplane scan laser which provides distance measurements overa
180
area up to 80 meters (m) away, and scan from right toleft. In this system, the LMS is setting as following: angularresolution:
0
.
5
angular angle:
0
to
180
and measurementsin the millimeter (mm) mode. Depends on this selected format,for a complete scanning cycle, one dataset with 361 value willbe achieved. To track the robot’s actual position, we need tofind the pole’s position in each scanning. The data receivedfrom the laser bears lots of noise, which will bring error inthe calculation. So, the algorithm of sliding window filter isadopted to reduce the noise.
 p
=12
m
 p
+
m
12
 p
m
12
d
i
m
2
k
+ 1
(7)Where:
 p
= current data after filter
m
= the size of the filter
d
i
= the
i
th
data
Fig. 1. Laser data capture in one frame. (a) Laser data before filter. (b) Laserdata after siding window filter.
Fig.1(a) illustrates the data when the pole captured by laser.The dashed circle shows the data which represents the polewhile the data are full of noise signal. After the processing bysliding window filter in Eq. (3), the data is recorded like Fig.1(b), where the pole position zooms out in the rectangle box.After the data filter process, the gradient was calculated andthe biggest turning point was searched to locate the data whichrepresents the pole position shows in Fig. 2.
120 140 160 180 200050100150200250300350400
      G    r    a      d      i    e    n     t
Data values
122 124 126200210220230
Fig. 2. The pole position localization method calculated the biggest turningpoint in the gradient curve
By calculating each protrudes in Eq. (9), to obtain thetrajectory of mobile robot.
G
=
 p
+
r
 p
r
(8)
G
=12
mr
(
 p
+
r
)+
m
12
i
=(
 p
r
)
m
12
d
i
 p
+
m
12
i
=
 p
m
12
d
i
(9)where
G
 p
= gradient of the laser
r
= gradient parameter
10000100020003000400050006000700080009000100020003000400050006000X Position (mm)
   Y   P  o  s   i   t   i  o  n   (  m  m   )
 
Sick laser positionTime
5000500100012001400160018002000
 
t
4
t
0
t
3
t
2
t
1
t
n
0
Fig. 3. The laser data represent, marker pole’s position.
Fig. 3 illustrates path followed by robot from perspective of a stationary laser range finder, which differs from the actualrobot path traversed. The laser available detect distance is

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