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Knowing the time at which sensors acquired data is critical to the proper processing and interpretation of that data, particularly for mobile robots attempting to project sensor data into a consistent coordinate frame. Unfortunately, many popular commercial sensors provide no support for synchronization, rendering conventional synchronization algorithms useless. In this paper, the authors describe a passive synchronization algorithm that can significantly reduce timing error versus naively time-stamping sensor data when it arrives at the host. It is passive in the sense that the algorithm requires no special cooperation from the sensor.
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