This week marks the fifth week of the REU program which means that we are over halfway through already. It really has flown by. Meng and I are working on the iRobot Create 2 platform to develop an indoor navigating robot. We have the base of our project in place which includes wireless control of the iRobot by Bluetooth, and we are working on how best to implement the map building functionality and obstacle avoidance. I have really learned a lot developing entirely on a microprocessor running a full Linux OS, this is something I’ve never done before.
Our method is going to use Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). There are multiple parts to SLAM: landmark extraction, data association, state estimation, state update, and landmark update. It all comes down to making measurements and determining how confident the robot is on it’s location. After enough measurements, it’ll be confident enough and will be localized. While SLAM can be applied across three dimensions, we will be implementing in two dimensions eliminating the need for more expensive hardware.
The next 3 weeks we are planning on implementing the SLAM process on our robot to have it map a room, be able to localize itself, and to navigate to specific points in the room/building.