One of the central challenges of today is to increase the degree of automation of the available systems and equipment in a sustainable way. This paper presents the development of an outdoor mobile robot platform navigation method, including an on-board unit and a mobile base station to support the operation of the ZalaZone Automotive Proving Ground in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary, by precise, automated deployment of traffic cones. Currently, traffic cone handling is a time- and labor-intensive job. Its automation saves a significant amount of human resources. As a first step, the technical requirements of the problem have been defined. Then, the navigation system that met the pre-defined requirements has been implemented. This paper presents the detailed development of this navigation system, including a description of the test phases as well.
As part of the development process, the operation of a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver corrected by Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) is presented, supported by a small, low-power mobile base station, followed by a description of the applied hardware and software components, alongside with the alignment and further development of these components to achieve centimeter-accurate positioning. The Network Transport of Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) via Internet Protocol (NTRIP) server facilitates the communication between the onboard unit and the base station via a 5G network. This work is continued by a detailed description of the autopilot system on the robotic platform, including the tools and software used for this purpose. The calibration process of the navigation system is described as well.
Finally, the results and observations gained during the test are summarized and analyzed. These results have shown that the addition of an RTK system has highly increased the accuracy of a general GNSS receiver. In addition, these results underline the crucial role of 5G networks in the case of automated mobile applications.