Akshay Hinduja, Yunsik Ohm, Jiahe Liao, Carmel Majidi, and Michael Kaess

IROS 2022


Having accurate localization capabilities is one of the fundamental requirements of autonomous robots. For underwater vehicles, the choices for effective localization are limited due to limitations of GPS use in water and poor environmental visibility that makes camera-based methods ineffective. Popular inertial navigation methods for underwater localization using Doppler-velocity log sensors, sonar, high-end inertial navigation systems, or acoustic positioning systems require bulky expensive hardware which are incompatible with low cost, bio-inspired underwater robots. In this paper, we introduce an approach for underwater robot localization inspired by GPS methods known as acoustic pseudoranging. Our method allows us to potentially localize multiple bio-inspired robots equipped with commonly available micro electro-mechanical systems microphones. This is achieved through estimating the time difference of arrival of acoustic signals sent simultaneously through four speakers with a known constellation geometry. We also leverage the same acoustic framework to perform oneway communication with the robot to execute some primitive motions. To our knowledge, this is the first application of the approach for the on-board localization of small bio-inspired robots in water. Hardware schematics and the accompanying code are released to aid further development in the field


To be updated:
Hinduja, A., Ohm, Y., Liao, J., Majidi, C., & Kaess, M. (2022). Acoustic Localization and Communication Using a MEMS Microphone for Low-cost and Low-power Bio-inspired Underwater Robots. arXiv preprint arXiv:2210.01089.