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Juergen Eckert, Reinhard German and Falko Dressler, "An Indoor Localization Framework for Four-rotor Flying Robots Using Low-power Sensor Nodes," IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, vol. 60 (2), pp. 336-344, February 2011.


We study the relevance of highly precise indoor localization techniques for quadrocopters and present an ultrasonic sensor system that achieves excellent localization performance even though the system has to rely on the limited computation resources of sensor nodes used for time-of-flight based localization. Quadrocopters, i.e. flying four-rotor robots, are on-board sensor controlled systems. In comparison to classical mono rotor objects (helicopters), the quadrocopters can be piloted with a much lower effort. However, lateral drifts cannot be compensated only referring to the built-in sensors. Nonetheless, the detection of such drifts is strongly necessary for indoor operation – without any corrections the quadrocopter would quickly cause a collision. In order to compensate the dislocation, we developed an indoor localization framework for time-of-flight based localization using ultrasonic sensors. It is optimized for use in sensor nodes with low computational power and limited memory. The system is designed for high scalability and to provide high accuracy even in case of erroneous measurements. The developed hardware platform is very light-weight to be carried by mobile robots and flying quadrocopters. Based on our real-time localization system, position controller and navigation functionality can be implemented.

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Juergen Eckert
Reinhard German
Falko Dressler

BibTeX reference

    author = {Eckert, Juergen and German, Reinhard and Dressler, Falko},
    title = {{An Indoor Localization Framework for Four-rotor Flying Robots Using Low-power Sensor Nodes}},
    journal = {IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement},
    pages = {336-344},
    volume = {60},
    number = {2},
    year = {2011},
    month = {February},
    publisher = {IEEE},
    doi = {10.1109/TIM.2010.2085850},

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