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Scientific publication

Radar Sensors in Collaborative Robotics: Fast Simulation and Experimental Validation

Publication from Robotics

Christian Stetco, Barnaba Ubezio, Stephan Mühlbacher-Karrer, Hubert Zangl

International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2020) , 5/2020


With the availability of small system in package realizations, radar systems become more and more attractive for a variety of applications in robotics, in particular also for collaborative robotics. As the simulation of robot systems in realistic scenarios has become an important tool, not only for design and optimization, but also e.g. for machine learning approaches, realistic simulation models are needed. In the case of radar sensor simulations, this means providing more realistic results than simple proximity sensors, e.g. in the presence of multiple objects and/or humans, objects with different relative velocities and differentiation between background and foreground movement. Due to the short wavelength in the millimeter range, we propose to utilize methods known from computer graphics (e.g. z-buffer, Lambertian reflectance model) to quickly acquire depth images and reflection estimates. This information is used to calculate an estimate of the received signal for a Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) radar by superposition of the corresponding signal contributions. Due to the moderate computational complexity, the approach can be used with various simulation  environments such as V-Rep or Gazebo. Validity and benefits of the approach are demonstrated by means of a comparison with experimental data obtained with a radar sensor on a UR10 arm in different scenarios.

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