Indoor Localization Competition

viennaThis report appeared in Robotics Tomorrow.

The Microsoft Indoor Localization Competition is a well-known annual benchmark for assessing many approaches to indoor localization. The purpose of the competition was to bring together real-time indoor location technologies and compare their performance in the same space. The competition had nearly 50 competitors in 2D and the more challenging 3D category.
Each team had 15 minutes to locate 15 markers throughout the evaluation area, the foyer of a large facility in Vienna. All results were compared to ground truth that was measured from a stationary terrestrial laser scanner. The competition was challenging because the venue was dynamic with many people moving throughout the space.

Real Earth was the only team to not rely on infrastructure in the 3D category and used only onboard sensors to provide localization. At the completion of the competition, the results showed Real Earth’s device to have the most accurate localization with 0.16-meter average error compared to ground truth.
Kevin Dowling, CEO of Real Earth said, “It has been exciting to be part of this competition and watch our algorithms perform in difficult and dynamic environments. I have seen LiDAR devices evolve since the 1980s from expensive large and heavy devices the size of a microwave oven to the small and lightweight devices of today, such as the Velodyne units. The developments in the near future will prove to be even more exciting as both autonomous and non-autonomous vehicles incorporate these devices.”

It appears to be the SLAM technology when combined with the Velodyne Puck that enabled the winning performance.

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