This paper describes the development of a mobile robot system and an outdoor navigation method based on global navigation satellite system (GNSS) in an autonomous mobile robot navigation challenge, called the Tsukuba Challenge, held in Tsukuba, Japan, in 2011 and 2012. The Tsukuba Challenge promotes practical technologies for autonomous mobile robots working in ordinary pedestrian environments. Many teams taking part in the Tsukuba Challenge used laser scanners to determine robot positions. GNSS was not used in localization because its positioning has multi-path errors and problems in availability. We propose a technique for realizing multipath mitigation that uses an omnidirectional IR camera to exclude "invisible" satellites, i.e., those entirely obstructed by a building and whose direct waves therefore are not received. We applied GPS/dead reckoning (DR) integrated based on observation data from visible satellites determined by the IR camera. Positioning was evaluated during Tsukuba Challenge 2011 and 2012. Our robot ran the 1.4 km course autonomously and evaluation results confirmed the effectiveness of our proposed technique and the feasibility of its highly accurate positioning.
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