Synergetic Localization for Groups of Mobile Robots

S. I. Roumeliotis

This report presents a new approach to the cooperative localization problem, namely collective localization. A group of M robots is viewed as a single system composed of robots that carry, in general, different sensors and have different positioning capabilities. A single Kalman filter is formulated to estimate the position and orientation of all the members of the group. This centralized schema is capable of fusing information provided by the sensors distributed on the individual robots while accommodating independencies and interdependencies among the collected data. In order to allow for distributed processing, the equations of the centralized Kalman filter are treated so that this filter can be decomposed into M modified Kalman filters each running on a separate robot. The collective localization algorithm is applied to a group of 3 robots and the improvement in localization accuracy is presented.