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A physics perspective on lidar data assimilation for mobile robots

, Andreas Zell
Published: 30 June 2021

Abstract: This paper presents a new algorithm for lidar data assimilation relying on a new forward model. Current mapping algorithms suffer from multiple shortcomings, which can be related to the lack of clear forward model. In order to address these issues, we provide a mathematical framework where we show how the use of coarse model parameters results in a new data assimilation problem. Understanding this new problem proves essential to derive sound inference algorithms. We introduce a model parameter specifically tailored for lidar data assimilation, which closely relates to the local mean free path. Using this new model parameter, we derive its associated forward model and we provide the resulting mapping algorithm. We further discuss how our proposed algorithm relates to usual occupancy grid mapping. Finally, we present an example with real lidar measurements.
Keywords: Lidar / Mapping / Mobile robot / Data assimilation

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