Applications of UWB Networks and Positioning to Autonomous Robots and Industrial Systems

Yu Xianjia, Li Qingqing, Jorge Peña Queralta, Jukka Heikkonen, Tomi Westerlund

Ultra-wideband (UWB) technology is a mature technology that contested other wireless technologies in the advent of the IoT but did not achieve the same levels of widespread adoption. In recent years, however, with its potential as a wireless ranging and localization solution, it has regained momentum. Within the robotics field, UWB positioning systems are being increasingly adopted for localizing autonomous ground or aerial robots. In the Industrial IoT (IIoT) domain, its potential for ad-hoc networking and simultaneous positioning is also being explored. This survey overviews the state-of-the-art in UWB networking and localization for robotic and autonomous systems. We also cover novel techniques focusing on more scalable systems, collaborative approaches to localization, ad-hoc networking, and solutions involving machine learning to improve accuracy. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first survey to put together the robotics and IIoT perspectives and to emphasize novel ranging and positioning modalities. We complete the survey with a discussion on current trends and open research problems.