Microlocation Ushers in the Next Advancement in Mapping and Navigation of Robots

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4Q 2018 | IN-5309


Without Geography, You Are Nowhere


Robots, for the most part, are highly inflexible systems that cannot operate outside a highly structured environment. This doesn’t matter so much if their task is arc-welding or assembly, but when the use-case dictates an unstructured, unmapped or uneven environment, today’s robots are not up to the task of mass-deployment. While emphasis is played on the value of machine-learning and the drive towards collaboration, all this potential means very little if the systems cannot locate themselves within a workspace, map out their surroundings, and navigate accordingly. Fortunately, advances in localization, mapping and navigation, enabled by sensors and machine vision, are changing this.

SLAM and Navigation


Most mobile robots are categorized as autonomous guided vehicles (AGV’s). They navigate their surroundings, usually warehouses, with magnetic tape, barcodes, and fiducial markers. They are being deployed at a grand scale by pure-play e-retailers like Amazon and Ocado, and if …

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