Mobile robot localization using optical flow sensors

Sooyong Lee, Jae Bok Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Open-loop position estimation methods are commonly used in mobile robot applications. Their strength lies in the speed and simplicity with which an estimated position is determined. However, these methods can lead to inaccurate or unreliable estimates. Two position estimation methods are developed in this paper, one using a single optical flow sensor and a second using two optical sensors. The first method can accurately estimate position under ideal conditions and also when wheel slip perpendicular to the axis of the wheel occurs. The second method can accurately estimate position even when wheel slip parallel to the axis of the wheel occurs. Location of the sensors is investigated in order to minimize errors caused by inaccurate sensor readings. Finally, a method is implemented and tested using a potential field based navigation scheme. Estimates of position were found to be as accurate as dead-reckoning in ideal conditions and much more accurate in cases where wheel slip occurs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-493
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Control, Automation and Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Dec


  • Mobile robot localization
  • Mobile robot navigation
  • Optical flow
  • Redundant sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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