3D Scan Matching for Mobile Robots with Application to Mine Mapping : Licentiate Thesis

Abstract: This thesis is concerned with three-dimensional scan registration, in particular of underground mine tunnels. Registration of partial range scans is an essential part of building 3D maps, and autonomous creation of reliable maps is a first step towards autonomous mining vehicles. The thesis presents a survey of relevant sensor technology and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different sensors for use in mine environments. A survey of the state of the art in scan registration algorithms is also presented, as well as a number of relevant applications. A new algorithm for registration of 3D data is presented, which is a generalisation of the normal distributions transform (NDT) for 2D data developed by Biber and Straßer. A detailed quantitative and qualitative comparison of the new algorithm with existing registration algorithms is shown. Results with actual mine data, some of which were collected with a new prototype 3D laser scanner, show that the presented algorithm is faster and in many cases more accurate, compared with the current standard in 3D registration.

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