Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Wayne State University

Public Relations

Media Report

May 16, 2013

How will we keep track of our robot minions?

In the future, when machines run our lives, we'll need a way to keep tabs on all those helper bots. Two Wayne State University researchers have come up with a solution. In a paper titled "LOBOT: Low-Cost, Self-Contained Localization of Small-Sized Ground Robotic Vehicles," computer scientists Guoxing Zhan and Weisong Shi lay out a technique for ground robots to share location information. First, a robot minion has to figure out where it is. To accomplish this, the LOBOT system uses a GPS receiver, a 3-axis accelerometer, a magnetic field sensor, and multiple motor rotation sensors. Because the GPS sensor is extremely energy-intensive, it only infrequently checks the absolute position of the machine. The magnetic field sensors, accelerometer, and motor rotation sensors keep the location information up-to-date by helping to calculate the robot's change in position relative to its previously determined GPS location. Together, these processes give a good approximation of the robot's absolute location.



  • Popsci.com, 5/15; Robotics Tomorrow, Space Daily, 5/16
5700 Cass Avenue, 3100 Academic Administration Building * Detroit, Michigan 48202
Phone (313) 577-2150 * Fax (313) 577-4459 * Newsline (313) 577-5345