Autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) require a reliable navigation system that works in all environments. However, indoor navigation remains a challenge because the existing satellite-based navigation systems such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) are mostly unavailable indoors. In this paper, a tightly-coupled integrated navigation system that integrates two dimensional (2D) Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), Inertial Navigation System (INS), and odometry is introduced. An efficient LiDAR-based line features detection/tracking algorithm is proposed to estimate the relative changes in orientation and displacement of the vehicle. Furthermore, an error model of INS/odometry system is derived. LiDAR-estimated orientation/position changes are fused by an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) with those predicted by INS/odometry using the developed error model. Errors estimated by EKF are used to correct the position and orientation of the vehicle and to compensate for sensor errors. The proposed system is verified through simulation and real experiment on an UGV equipped with LiDAR, MEMS-based IMU, and encoder. Both simulation and experimental results showed that sensor errors are accurately estimated and the drifts of INS are significantly reduced leading to navigation performance of sub-metre accuracy.

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Keywords Indoor navigation, Inertial Navigation System, LiDAR, Unmanned ground vehicle
Persistent URL
Journal Journal of Navigation
Liu, S. (Shifei), Atia, M, Karamat, T.B. (Tashfeen B.), & Noureldin, A. (Aboelmagd). (2015). A LiDAR-aided indoor navigation system for UGVs. Journal of Navigation, 68(2), 253–273. doi:10.1017/S037346331400054X