An aerial-ground robotic system for navigation and obstacle mapping in large outdoor areas

Mario Garzón*, João Valente, David Zapata, Antonio Barrientos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


There are many outdoor robotic applications where a robot must reach a goal position or explore an area without previous knowledge of the environment around it. Additionally, other applications (like path planning) require the use of known maps or previous information of the environment. This work presents a system composed by a terrestrial and an aerial robot that cooperate and share sensor information in order to address those requirements. The ground robot is able to navigate in an unknown large environment aided by visual feedback from a camera on board the aerial robot. At the same time, the obstacles are mapped in real-time by putting together the information from the camera and the positioning system of the ground robot. A set of experiments were carried out with the purpose of verifying the system applicability. The experiments were performed in a simulation environment and outdoor with a medium-sized ground robot and a mini quad-rotor. The proposed robotic system shows outstanding results in simultaneous navigation and mapping applications in large outdoor environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1247-1267
Number of pages21
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomous navigation
  • Collaborative robotics
  • Cooperative perception
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Outdoor mapping
  • UAV
  • UGV


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