A. M. Ladd, K. E. Bekris, A. Rudys, G. Marceau, L. E. Kavraki, and D. S. Wallach, “Robotics-Based Location Sensing using Wireless Ethernet,” in Proceedings of the Eight ACM International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MOBICOM 2002), Atlanta, GE, 2002, pp. 227–238.
A key subproblem in the construction of location-aware systems is the determination of the position of a mobile device. This paper describes the design, implementation and analysis of a system for determining position inside a building from measured RF signal strengths of packets on an IEEE 802.11b wireless Ethernet network. Previous approaches to location-awareness with RF signals have been severely hampered by non-linearity, noise and complex correlations due to multi-path effects, interference and absorption. The design of our system begins with the observation that determining position from complex, noisy and non-linear signals is a well-studied problem in the field of robotics. Using only off-the-shelf hardware, we achieve robust position estimation to within a meter in our experimental context and after adequate training of our system. We can also coarsely determine our orientation and can track our position as we move. By applying recent advances in probabilistic inference of position and sensor fusion from noisy signals, we show that the RF emissions from base stations as measured by off-the-shelf wireless Ethernet cards are sufficiently rich in information to permit a mobile device to reliably track its location.