Underground water pipes are important to any country's infrastructure. Overtime, the metallic pipes are prone to corrosion, which can lead to water leakage and pipe bursts. In order to prolong the service life of those assets, water utilities in Australia apply protective pipe linings. Long-term monitoring and timely intervention are crucial for maintaining those lining assets. However, the water utilities do not possess the comprehensive technology to achieve it. The main reasons for lacking such technology are the unavailability of sensors and accurate robot localization technologies. Feature based localization methods such as SLAM has limited use as the application of liners alters the features and the environment. Encoder based localization is not accurate enough to observe the evolution of defects over a long period of time requiring unique defect correspondence. This motivates us to explore accurate contact-less and wireless based localization methods. We propose a cost-effective localization method using UHF-RFID signals for robot localization inside pipelines based on Gaussian process combined particle filter. Experiments carried out in field extracted pipe samples from the Sydney water pipe network show that using the RSSI and Phase data together in the measurement model with particle filter algorithm improves the localization accuracy up to 15 centimeters precision.
Title: Using UHF-RFID Signals for Robot Localization Inside Pipelines Authors: Amal Gunatilake, Mitchell Galea, Karthick Thiyagarajan, Sarath Kodagoda, Lasitha Piyathilaka and Poojaben Darji