Place Recognition-Based Fixed-Lag Smoothing for Environments with Unreliable GPS
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Pose estimation of outdoor robots presents some distinct challenges due to the various uncertainties in the robot sensing and action. In particular, global positioning sensors of outdoor robots do not always work perfectly, causing large drift in the location estimate of the robot. To overcome this common problem, we propose a new approach for global localization using place recognition. First, we learn the location of some arbitrary key places using odometry measurements and GPS measurements only at the start and the end of the robot trajectory. In subsequent runs, when the robot perceives a key place, our fixed-lag smoother fuses odometry measurements with the relative location to the key place to improve its pose estimate. Outdoor mobile robot experiments show that place recognition measurements significantly improve the estimate of the smoother in the absence of GPS measurements.