ICRA 2011 Paper Abstract


Paper TuA112.2

Harrison, Alastair (University of Oxford), Newman, Paul (Oxford University)

TICSync: Knowing When Things Happened

Scheduled for presentation during the Regular Sessions "Distributed Robot Systems I" (TuA112), Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 08:35−08:50, Room 5H

2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 9-13, 2011, Shanghai International Conference Center, Shanghai, China

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on March 30, 2020

Keywords Distributed Robot Systems, Networked Robots, Sensor Fusion


Modern robotic systems are composed of many distributed processes sharing a common communications in- frastructure. High bandwidth sensor data is often collected on one computer and served to many consumers. It is vital that every device on the network agrees on how time is measured. If not, sensor data may be at best inconsistent and at worst useless. Typical clocks in consumer grade PCs are highly inaccurate and temperature sensitive. We argue that traditional approaches to clock synchronization, such as the use of NTP are inappropriate in the robotics context. We present an extremely efficient algorithm for learning the mapping between distributed clocks, which typically achieves better than millisecond accuracy within just a few seconds. We also give a probabilistic analysis providing an upper-bound error estimate.



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