Interrobot transformations in 3-D

Nikolas Trawny, Xun S. Zhou, Ke Zhou, Stergios I. Roumeliotis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


In this paper, we provide a study of motion-induced 3-D extrinsic calibration based on robot-to-robot sensor measurements. In particular, we introduce algebraic methods to compute the relative translation and rotation between two robots using known robot motion and robot-to-robot 1) distance and bearing, 2) bearing-only, and 3) distance-only measurements. We further conduct a nonlinear observability analysis and provide sufficient conditions for the 3-D relative position and orientation (pose) to become locally weakly observable. Finally, we present a nonlinear weighted least-squares estimator to refine the algebraic pose estimate in the presence of noise. We use simulations to evaluate the performance of our methods in terms of accuracy and robustness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5437247
Pages (from-to)226-243
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received February 5, 2009; revised August 23, 2009 and February 1, 2010. Current version published April 7, 2010. This paper was recommended for publication by Associate Editor P. Rives and Editor L. Parker upon evaluation of the reviewers’ comments. This work was supported by the University of Minnesota (Digital Technology Center) and the National Science Foundation under Grant IIS-0643680, Grant IIS-0811946, and Grant IIS-0835637.


  • 3-D extrinsic calibration
  • Cooperative localization


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