PRIMELOC envisions a future where location-based services, enabled outdoor by Galileo or GPS, will be widely provided also in indoor spaces, thanks to the availability of automatically generated maps and infrastructure-less localisation inside buildings.
In this project, we devise the new concept of personal radar as a fundamental step toward this goal. This concept stems out from the millimeter-wave (mmW) technology, which will pack hundreds of antenna elements in a credit card-sized area, thus providing personal devices (e.g., smartphones) with near pencil-beam radio scanning capabilities. This will make it possible for personal devices, turned into personal radars, to accurately scan the surroundings via beamforming, thus inferring a local map through the collection of radio echoes reflected by walls and objects. Yet, PRIMELOC is not just about building radio images, and hence maps. In fact, thanks to the maps generated by personal radars, the localization of users in the actual environment could become a reality, thus providing infrastructure-less, zero-cost, non-intrusive and highly accurate indoor localisation systems. Even more, we envision localisation and mapping processes done simultaneously.
We foresee that within ten years the personal radar could be embedded in mobile devices, such as smartphones or wearables, generating an impact similar to that of satellite-based outdoor mapping/positioning.
The main objective of PRIMELOC is to provide the first proof-of-concept of the personal radar idea as a milestone technology towards indoor radio imaging and infrastructure-less decimeterlevel accuracy localisation systems. This will be achieved by designing massive mmW antenna arrays to enable the personal radar capability as well as advanced signal processing algorithms implementing radio-based (simultaneous) localisation and mapping.
– Design of electronically steerable massive antenna arrays at mmW with beam shaping and near pencil-beam capabilities used in an unconventional way (with respect to their conventional “communication” task) to enable high-definition personal radar capabilities.
– Design of innovative algorithms to infer ambient maps from radio images and, exploiting the availability of maps, also the user location.
– Extend the reach of indoor mapping by at least 2 orders of magnitude with respect to the level that would be achieved using dedicated devices (e.g. robots with laser scanner), thanks to the pervasive diffusion of millions of mobile personal devices.
– Enable radio–based “mapless” and “infrastructure-less” indoor localisation.
With respect to the state-of-the-art, the above outlined breakthroughs will revolutionise the way indoor mapping and localisation are obtained. The disruptive result of this is that neither infrastructure nor economical effort will be required to provide mapping and localisation services inside buildings, thus filling the gap between outdoor and indoor scenarios.