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6D SLAM with an Application in Autonomous Mine Mapping

Andreas Nüchter, Hartmut Surmann,

Kai Lingemann, Joachim Hertzberg Fraunhofer Institute for Autonomous Intelligent Systems (AIS)

Schloss Birlinghoven

Sebastian Thrun Computer Science Department

Stanford University

Stanford, CA, USA


To create with an autonomous mobile robot a 3D volumetric map of a scene it is necessary to gage several 3D scans and to merge them into one consistent 3D model. This paper provides a new solution to the simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) problem with six degrees of freedom. Robot motion on natural surfaces has to cope with yaw, pitch and roll angles, turning pose estimation into a problem in six mathematical dimensions. A fast variant of the Iterative Closest Points algorithm registers the 3D scans in a common coordinate system and relocalizes the robot. Finally, consistent 3D maps are generated using a global relaxation. The algorithms have been tested with 3D scans taken in the Mathies mine, Pittsburgh, PA. Abandoned mines pose significant problems to society, yet a large fraction of them lack accurate 3D maps.

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