Application of heuristic asymmetric mapping for mobile robot navigation using ultrasonic sensors

Kai-Tai Song*, Chun Chieh Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


In this paper, an experimental study of a navigation system that allows a mobile robot to travel in an environment about which it has no prior knowledge is described. Data from multiple ultrasonic range sensors are fused into a representation called Heuristic Asymmetric Mapping to deal with the problem of uncertainties in the raw sensory data caused mainly by the transducer's beam-opening angle and specular reflections. It features a fast data-refresh rate to handle a dynamic environment. Potential-field method is used for on-line path planning based on the constructed gridtype sonar map. The mobile robot can therefore learn to find a safe path according to its self-built sonar map. To solve the problem of local minima in conventional potential field method, a new type of potential function is formulated. This new method is simple and fast in execution using the concept from distance-transform path-finding algorithms. The developed navigation system has been tested on our experimental mobile robot to demonstrate its possible application in practical situations. Several interesting simulation and experimental results are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-264
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems: Theory and Applications
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Mobile robot
  • Navigation
  • Potential function
  • Sonar map

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