Wheel-SLAM: Simultaneous Localization and Terrain Mapping Using One Wheel-mounted IMU

by   Yibin Wu, et al.

A reliable pose estimator robust to environmental disturbances is desirable for mobile robots. To this end, inertial measurement units (IMUs) play an important role because they can perceive the full motion state of the vehicle independently. However, it suffers from accumulative error due to inherent noise and bias instability, especially for low-cost sensors. In our previous studies on Wheel-INS <cit.>, we proposed to limit the error drift of the pure inertial navigation system (INS) by mounting an IMU to the wheel of the robot to take advantage of rotation modulation. However, it still drifted over a long period of time due to the lack of external correction signals. In this letter, we propose to exploit the environmental perception ability of Wheel-INS to achieve simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) with only one IMU. To be specific, we use the road bank angles (mirrored by the robot roll angles estimated by Wheel-INS) as terrain features to enable the loop closure with a Rao-Blackwellized particle filter. The road bank angle is sampled and stored according to the robot position in the grid maps maintained by the particles. The weights of the particles are updated according to the difference between the currently estimated roll sequence and the terrain map. Field experiments suggest the feasibility of the idea to perform SLAM in Wheel-INS using the robot roll angle estimates. In addition, the positioning accuracy is improved significantly (more than 30%) over Wheel-INS. Source code of our implementation is publicly available (https://github.com/i2Nav-WHU/Wheel-SLAM).


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