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In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of an integrated two dimensional and three dimensional location measurement system, where different types of range sensors can be mounted onto the spiral motion positioner. The proposed sensor/positioner system enables terrestrial and aerial robots to observe their surroundings in all directions without blind spots. Using a nut-and-bolt and link mechanism, the proposed positioner driven by a single stepper motor exhibits continuous three dimensional spiral trajectories over the upper hemisphere. This single axis motor driven system helps decrease the size, weight, and structural complexity of the system. Particular attention in this work is placed on how to effectively combine two dimensional and three dimensional measurement functions. We verify the validity and effectiveness of the proposed location measurement system through simulations and experiments. It is expected that the proposed system can be incorporated into a wide range of mobile robot platforms.
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