This paper addresses the local terrain mapping process for an autonomous robot. Building upon an onboard range measurement sensor and an existing robot pose estimation, we formulate a novel elevation mapping method from a robot-centric perspective. This formulation can explicitly handle drift of the robot pose estimation which occurs for many autonomous robots. Our mapping approach fully incorporates the distance sensor measurement uncertainties and the six-dimensional pose covariance of the robot. We introduce a computationally efficient formulation of the map fusion process, which allows for mapping a terrain at high update rates. Finally, our approach is demonstrated on a quadrupedal robot walking over obstacles.
Posted on: May 12, 2014