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Blog 2018-08-08T13:56:04+00:00

What about radar?

Radar is awesome. When most people think of radar, they imagine a line sweeping around an old CRT display with its characteristic green hue - interrupted by approaching aircraft, or perhaps distant ships over the horizon. While our experience with cameras and GPS has remained up-to-date as hardware has advanced, our perceptions of radar are largely based on a sensor of the past. And even among roboticists who should know a little more about available sensors, this technology is underutilised. However, radar has advanced far beyond the point of crude object detection and is changing the way mobile robots navigate. Navtech’s FMCW scanning radar allows us to observe the world in 400 equally-spaced azimuthal slices, each containing 2000 range measurements. This equates to a circular 360-degree scan of the environment, 500 metres all around, at a resolution of 0.25 metres per bin. These 800 000 readings update 4 times every second and tell us about the scene structure in great detail, making radar useful for far more than just detecting what large metallic objects might be approaching us. By observing the static environment itself, we can determine our pose in the world - as previously demonstrated and summarised here as Radar Odometry (RO). And while cameras, lidar, and GPS have been successful in pose estimation and localisation tasks, they fail under certain challenging conditions. Cameras don’t function in direct sunlight, lidar isn’t great in the rain, and GPS won’t work indoors. Although [...]

By | November 21st, 2018|Categories: ORI Blog|Comments Off on What about radar?
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