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ABI Research: Microlocation & Robot Navigation

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Microlocation ushers major advancement in locating and navigating mobile robots

Any industrial automation expert will tell you that robot navigation is not a solved problem. Current localization solutions, using a variety of LIDAR and optical sensors, are often limited to indoors and controlled environments due to the limitations and expense of the technology. For outdoor applications, GNSS is often key for positioning. Yet this large-scale global system is itself highly inaccurate.

In this piece from leading analyst firm ABI Research, microlocation is put forward as a significant advancement in overcoming the obstacles facing industrial robot localization and navigation.

“End-users of mobile robotics should not assume the advances in navigation technology will singularly localize robots with advanced centimeter and millimeter accuracy. Radio-frequency (RF) technologies will have to be added to ensure a robust positioning system and for asset tracking.”

 

TOPICS COVERED

  • Why mobile robots are vexed by unstructured, unmapped and uneven environments;
  • The important but insufficient navigation improvements brought by reference maps, machine vision, and sensor fusion software;
  • How precise, robust, and affordable radio-frequency (RF) microlocation rounds out the navigation technology stack for dynamic indoor and outdoor industrial applications.