Localization of mobile robots using LiDAR technology

Background and motivation

Traditional methods of building inspection, both in the construction phase and in the operation phase, are usually conducted manually, being time-consuming, costly and subjective, depending on the expertise of the inspector. To reduce time and cost, and to render the inspections more objective, robotic systems are increasingly deployed in an attempt to automate building inspection. Deploying robotic systems for building inspection requires accurate localization, enabling the robots to find their routes within the buildings. In addition, accurate localization is required to correctly evaluate the data collected through the inspections. Various techniques for localizing robotic systems have been proposed, one of which is the Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology that allows drawing conclusions about actual locations based on laser scans.

Project goal and expected results

This study aims to investigate the quality of LiDAR systems available in the market with respect to the localization of mobile robotic systems deployed for building inspection. Several LiDAR systems will systematically be reviewed and tested in a laboratory environment, using a motion capture system as a reference for localization. Thereupon, a comparative study will be conducted by means of different use cases representing typical scenarios of building inspection in engineering practice. It is expected that, as a result, conclusions will be drawn regarding the quality of the LiDAR systems in localizing mobile robotic systems, as localization is one of the most fundamental competencies required by mobile robots representing an essential precursor to making decisions within the process of building inspection.

Project partners

  • Institute of Technical Logistics (Hamburg University of Technology)
  • Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg


Dr. Thomas Kölzer
Hamburg University of Technology
Institute of Digital and Autonomous Construction
Blohmstraße 15
21079 Hamburg
Email: thomas.koelzer(at)tuhh(dot)de