This paper presents the use of an external fixed two-dimensional laser scanner to detect cylindrical targets attached to moving devices, such as a mobile robot. This proposal is based on the detection of circular markers in the raw data provided by the laser scanner by applying an algorithm for outlier avoidance and a least-squares circular fitting. Some experiments have been developed to empirically validate the proposal with different cylindrical targets in order to estimate the location and tracking errors achieved, which are generally less than 20 mm in the area covered by the laser sensor. As a result of the validation experiments, several error maps have been obtained in order to give an estimate of the uncertainty of any location computed. This proposal has been validated with a medium-sized mobile robot with an attached cylindrical target (diameter 200 mm). The trajectory of the mobile robot was estimated with an average location error of less than 15 mm, and the real location error in each individual circular fitting was similar to the error estimated with the obtained error maps. The radial area covered in this validation experiment was up to 10 m, a value that depends on the radius of the cylindrical target and the radial density of the distance range points provided by the laser scanner but this area can be increased by combining the information of additional external laser scanners.
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