Radar for Robots TU Braunschweig Researches Ground Radar Sensors for Robots and Self-Propelled Cars
The localisation of a vehicle – be it mobile robots, machines or cars – is an important function in navigation when driving autonomously. Researchers at Technische Universität Braunschweig are investigating radar-based sensors together with industrial partners in the core research area Mobility. These sensors map the ground and thus enable precise description of the location and direction of the mobile object.
Optical sensors or satellite-based technologies are currently used to determine the position in vehicles. However, in certain scenarios, especially outdoors, they show deficiencies in accuracy and robustness or require additional installations. In contrast, a sensor that enables localisation based on the characteristics of the ground offers a more reliable solution.
In the LoBaBo research project, radar-based sensors and methods for one- or two-dimensional detection of road surface structure are investigated. This is intended to enable mapping with sufficient resolution. Based on the data obtained, a clear determination of the pose (location and orientation) is to be carried out using suitable mapping and matching methods. In the future, mobile robots could thus reliably navigate in outdoor areas without additional installations.
Mapping methods are used to create maps from the georeferenced soil data. With the so-called matching procedures, map data and currently measured radar data can be processed. With matching, the location and orientation of a vehicle are determined in real time with sufficient resolution and accuracy.
The TU Braunschweig develops localisation algorithms for localisation along a trajectory (1D localisation) and on a surface (2D localisation). In doing so, it is investigated how the radar data have to be pre-processed and which localisation algorithms are best suited. The radar measurements are compared with map data and the determination of the transformation, i.e. the change of direction. In addition, a continuous and a discrete position update is determined using radar technology. Finally, the position determination will be verified with a test vehicle for indoor and outdoor cases.
The research project LoBaBo with a duration of three years (February 2020 to January 2023) is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with a total of 850,000 Euros; the TU Braunschweig receives a share of about 350,000 Euros.
The partners in the joint project are the company Götting KG in Lehrte (LoBaBo coordination), the company SF Microwave GmbH from Braunschweig, a spin-off from the Institute for High Frequency Technology at the TU Braunschweig (Department of Microwave Technology) and the Institut für mobile Maschinen und Nutzfahrzeuge at the TU Braunschweig (Head of Professor Ludger Frerichs) with the Automation and Robotic Systems research group (read of the research group: Jan Schattenberg).