Asee peer logo

Multi-floor Mapping and Navigation with Uncertainty

Download Paper |


2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Poster Session

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.917.1 - 23.917.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


James Ellingson U. of St. Thomas, School of Engineering

visit author page

James Ellingson earned his Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. He joined the Faculty in at University of St. Thomas in 2009 after an extensive career in medical device manufacturing and industrial automation. Research interests include remote sensing, autonomous vehicles mechatronics, embedded systems, machine design and robotics.

visit author page


Kundan Nepal University of Saint Thomas

visit author page

Kundan Nepal is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering at the University of St. Thomas (MN). His research interests span the areas of reliable nanoscale digital systems, mobile robotics and reconfigurable computing.

visit author page

author page

Megan Rose McGill University of St. Thomas

author page

Mitchell J Hoffmann University of St. Thomas

Download Paper |


Multi-floor Mapping and Navigation with Uncertainty – An Undergraduate’s PerspectiveRobotics and their widely varied applications are becoming increasingly important in all fields ofscience and engineering. Researchers use robotics to solve complex problems that could not besolved before. Furthermore, it enables undergraduate students to participate in multi-disciplinaryengineering activities and explore topics beyond the traditional undergraduate curriculum. Thispaper provides an undergraduate students perspective on the development of new methods formulti-floor mapping and navigation with uncertainty.A mobile robotic navigation system was developed using the Microsoft Kinect for machinevision, the iRobot Create for movement, and the open-source Robot Operating System (ROS).This platform utilizes a network of applications running across multiple computers in real time.This platform is used to create a map which is then used to navigate multiple floors of theengineering building. Although Kinect sensors have been previously used to map and navigatesmall indoor spaces, a multi-floor environment presented significant new challenges. This paperdescribes our solution to these challenges.One such challenge of a multi-floor environment was navigating between floors using a bank ofelevators. This was broken down into multiple sub-problems. The first was positioning the robotin front of the elevator bank using the created map of the environment and sensor data forobstacle avoidance. Next, alignment relative to the doors using image processing techniques wasused to confirm that the doors were in the robot’s field of view. Then, infrared depth scans wereused not only to detect if an elevator had arrived, but to detect which particular elevator door hadopened. Finally, techniques were developed for use when the robot lost wireless communicationsto the application server in dead zones such as inside the elevators.The result of this project is that groundwork has been laid for mobile robotic systems to performmulti-floor navigation within a building. This leads to many other applications such asautonomous tour guides, retrieval of objects and information gathering within an area.

Ellingson, J., & Nepal, K., & McGill, M. R., & Hoffmann, M. J. (2013, June), Multi-floor Mapping and Navigation with Uncertainty Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22302

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015