Here is a link to an article from Technology Review about GPS style positioning technology that use small [it says the size of a hardback book] land based units. Accuracy down to a few centimeters. This version uses the same frequency [band] as wi-fi, but apparently with higher power. A single unit could cover several kilometers. This is real technology already being used.
One of the company co-founders is quoted as saying
Tracking goods and machines with high accuracy can enable greater use of robotics and automation.
Assuming a “location hotspot” is available, or can be setup at reasonable cost, this looks like an opportunity for robotics location awareness. Depending on thoses costs, down to the consumer level. The existing home robots that need to have hardware “electronic walls” installed could potentially use position sensing and a virtual wall instead.
- a sumobot that knows its position relative to the ‘ring’ well enough that it does not need to completely rely on optical sensing of the white edges?
- a line follower that memorizes the path based on absolute position information? The high speed line followers could ‘plan’ acceleration, deceleration, and turns based on their position
- a Darpa style challenge where the ‘contestant’ is given only the geo-location of the goal