Low Cost Robot Navigation

Hi Roboticists

I am planning to make a low cost autonomous robot capable of navigating by itself. The robot will have a Raspberry Pi 2 B+ on board for processing and if needed, a laptop connected via WiFi placed elsewhere. It will run ROS (Robot Operating System) for ease of operation.

For sensors, I don’t want to use LiDAR or RGBD cameras like Kinect or Asus Xtion to keep the cost down. My plan is to use a webcam (or maybe 2 for stereo vision), wheel odometery data and a IMU sensor if required.

The first step is obviously to use SLAM and create a map of the environment. I tested ORB SLAM 2 with a monocular camera, https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://github.com/raulmur/ORB_SLAM2&ved=2ahUKEwiszaem_vDhAhXRiHAKHUZtAB4QFjAAegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw3l_-DMtr4_YVqyTXmThvEs. It didn’t work with plain walls, needed visual variations for mapping and often lost track. I feel augmenting wheel odometery data can certainly increase the performance. Another thing could be to use some visual markers so that the camera can use them as landmarks, I would prefer not to use them but am willing to if needed.

I feel someone must have tried making some low cost navigation system for a mobile robot. Please let me know if you’re aware of any such project which is already implemented. Code, webpage, research paper, anything would be helpful.

Thanks in advance

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Hello @junkster!

Currently, in large factories with tons of robots moving packages around, they are using tags on the floor and encoders on the wheels to make movement very precise. This is probably the easiest and cheapest way to do it

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Hello @junkster,

Magmator could be right. Using RFID tags should be one of cheaper solutions.

Anyway, check this PDF: http://www.reading.ac.uk/scarp/library/2012/InceM_A_S2R4-4.pdf

Maybe it would be interesting, for your project, to try and find complete thesis!

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