Robot navigates indoors by detecting magnetic field anomalies

The presence of metal pipes beneath the floor creates a local disturbance in the Earth's magnetic field that is sufficient for an autonomous robot to determine its location and navigate within a laboratory.

Using nothing but a magnetometer and a thorough map of the local magnetic anomalies, a robot is able to independently find its way through the interior of a building.

The method provide a mechanism for people and robots to find their way around enormous structures, however practical deployment of the technology may be quite some way off due to the substantial expense and the size of the sensors.

Satellite navigation systems such as GLONASS from Russia, Galileo from the European Union, and BeiDou from China are able to deliver accurate location information wherever they are used.

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