In this paper, a range-based cooperative localization method is proposed for multiple platforms of various structures. The localization system of an independent platform might degrade or fail due to various reasons such as GPS signal-loss, inertial measurement unit (IMU) accumulative errors, or emergency reboot. It is a promising approach to solve this problem by using information from neighboring platforms, thus forming a cooperative localization network that can improve the navigational robustness of each platform. Typical ranging-based ultra-wideband (UWB) cooperative localization systems require at least three auxiliary nodes to estimate the pose of the target node, which is often hard to meet especially in outdoor environment. In this work, we propose a novel IMU/UWB-based cooperative localization solution, which requires a minimum number of auxiliary nodes that is down to 1. An Adaptive Ant Colony Optimization Particle Filter (AACOPF) algorithm is customized to integrate the dead reckoning (DR) system and auxiliary nodes information with no prior information required, resulting in accurate pose estimation, while to our knowledge the azimuth have not been estimated in cooperative localization for the insufficient observation of the system. We have given the condition when azimuth and localization are solvable by analysis and by experiment. The feasibility of the proposed approach is evaluated through two filed experiments: car-to-trolley and car-to-pedestrian cooperative localization. The comparison results also demonstrate that ACOPF-based integration is better than other filter-based methods such as Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) and traditional Particle Filter (PF).
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