Robotics: Science and Systems XI

Online Localization of Radio-Tagged Wildlife with an Autonomous Aerial Robot System

Oliver Cliff, Robert Fitch, Salah Sukkarieh, Debbie Saunders, Robert Heinsohn


The application of autonomous robots to efficiently locate small wildlife species has the potential to provide significant ecological insights not previously possible using traditional land-based survey techniques, and a basis for improved conservation policy and management. We present an approach for autonomously localizing radio-tagged wildlife using a small aerial robot. We present a novel two-point phased array antenna system that yields unambiguous bearing measurements and an associated uncertainty measure. Our estimation and information-based planning algorithms incorporate this bearing uncertainty to choose observation points that improve confidence in the location estimate. These algorithms run online in real time and we report experimental results that show successful autonomous localization of stationary radio tags and live radio-tagged birds.



    AUTHOR    = {Oliver Cliff AND Robert Fitch AND Salah Sukkarieh AND Debbie Saunders AND Robert Heinsohn}, 
    TITLE     = {Online Localization of Radio-Tagged Wildlife with an Autonomous Aerial Robot System}, 
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems}, 
    YEAR      = {2015}, 
    ADDRESS   = {Rome, Italy}, 
    MONTH     = {July},
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2015.XI.042}