Algorithms and experiments for globally consistent mapping of underground passageway environmentsPublic Deposited
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The problem addressed by this thesis is whether globally consistent mapping can be practically achieved for the underground mining industry with little to no infrastructure and no a priori knowledge of the environment. This thesis has specific application to an underground global positioning system (UGPS) research project that is currently underway at MDA Space Missions of Brampton, ON. Using developed methods and algorithms from the mobile robotics literature, a tailored mapping algorithm was constructed for the effective and accurate mapping of large scale passageway environments. Following the use of a simulated environment for both feasibility tests and algorithm validation, the developed algorithms were applied to three real data sets, each having unique characteristics. Two of the data sets were obtained from underground mines courtesy of Atlas Copco Rock Drills AB of Orebro, Sweden. A quantitative and qualitative analysis of the produced pose estimates and maps provided clear indications about where the developed algorithms perform well, and also identified possible areas of future research. Finally, the successful integration of the generated maps into MDA's localization research was achieved.
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