This paper presents results of a novel intelligent robotic system using a re-configurable platform for autonomous mapping and sensor data gathering of non-Global Positioning System (GPS) friendly, unknown and hazardous enclosed environments such as caves, underground and underwater tunnel networks, building floors, and spaces within a collapsed building rubble field. The work developed here forms a basis for a swarm of mini/micro robotic vehicles capable of autonomous routing and control with a self-contained navigation system that does not rely on GPS information. A robotic prototype capable of autonomously mapping a floor plan (such as hallways within a building) has been developed. The robot navigates autonomously without the use of GPS and gathers absolute position information developing a 2-dimensional map of the hallway network using a novel Mini Inertial Measurement/Navigation System (MIMNS) developed at RIT. Also, enhancements to the MIMNS unit are presented for estimating attitude orientation of the robot using an accelerometer based device allowing for non-flat plane mapping using the MIMNS unit. The paper presents the concepts of the robot hardware and software, results of a 2-dimensional mapping of a flat plane, and introduces simulation results of an accelerometer based attitude orientation device.

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