Spatial information extraction for cognitive mapping with a mobile robot
When animals (including humans) first explore a new environment, what they remember is fragmentary knowledge about the places visited. Yet, they have to use such fragmentary knowledge to find their way home. Humans naturally use more powerful heuristics while lower animals have shown to develop a variety of methods that tend to utilize two key pieces of information, namely distance and orientation information. Their methods differ depending on how they sense their environment. Could a mobile robot be used to investigate the nature of such a process, commonly referred to in the psychological literature as cognitive mapping? What might be computed in the initial explorations and how is the resulting "cognitive map" be used for localization? In this paper, we present an approach using a mobile robot to generate a "cognitive map", the main focus being on experiments conducted in large spaces that the robot cannot apprehend at once due to the very limited range of its sensors. The robot computes a "cognitive map" and uses distance and orientation information for localization. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007.