Wireless networks can make it easier for robots to navigate by solving the problem of the lack of GPS

Wireless networks can make it easier for robots to navigate by solving the problem of the lack of GPS

You probably know that it is impossible to use GPS to locate robots in closed rooms. Theoretically, this is not so much of a problem due to common sensors, but the precision of movement in the case of non-thinking and algorithm-based equipment must be as perfect as possible, and fortunately this is what wireless networks can provide. At least according to scientists.

For a robot in a room, wireless networks can be something like a local GPS

At the University of California, San Diego, a team of researchers came up with a solution to a big problem with navigation systems in building robots. In this environment, they must primarily use their own sensors and cameras or pre-planned paths instead of, for example, GPS, but apparently in any building something like “local GPS” can be arranged using existing wireless networks.

Scientists came up with the idea of ​​using Wi-Fi access points in buildings as a ‘locator’. The robot communicates with all transmitters using its own communication module, first sending and then receiving signals characteristic for each access point, which are transmitted at a specific angle and distance.

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By judging how the angle and distance of the signal from each point change as the robot moves, the on-board computer is able to determine where the robot is currently located in relation to all access points. It is something like position triangulation, which, of course, can still be supported by a set of sensors, e.g. by avoiding obstacles.

Tests have confirmed the effectiveness of this system, which will be unveiled this week at the 2022 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in Philadelphia.


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