Can I use 3 beacons for indoor location?

I have 3 beacons and I have some confusion problems.

  1. Can I use 3 beacons for Estimote Indoor Location?
    The demo in iOS app can only use 4 beacons for indoor location. If I want to use 3 beacons for this , how do I start my work? And what about the accuracy of indoor location?
  2. I want to deploy three beacons on the mobile robot so that the mobile robot could follow people simultaneously. In this idea, the three beacons should send the signal strength (such as RSSI) to the mobile phone continuously and simultaneously, and then the mobile phone send the message to the controller on the robot. As the signal strength related to the distance between people and beacons, the moving robot could choose the direction of strongest signal as motion orientation so roboot could follow people when it is moving.
    Can this idea be realized based on beacons?
  1. To use official Estimote Indoor Location you need at least 4 beacons. You could probably write your own manual indoor location using 3 beacons, by triangulating distance readings.

  2. I highly doubt it will work. The thing with beacons is they’re not super-precise, and with them located close to each other you could get lots of mixedreadings. Like, that sometimes one beacon is closer the the other and sometime that’s more far away, even though their position won’t change.

3 beacons are simply not enough to do indoor positioning well. Triangulation (actually, trilateration, because you don’t know the angle, only the distance) using beacons is over-hyped—sure, it sounds perfect in theory, but if you take into account that distance estimations using beacons are far from precise, then you start running into trouble. Our Indoor Location doesn’t use trilateration because of that, but a combination of a ton of different techniques that we’ve been fine-tuning over almost 2 years now.

The biggest problem with your robot idea is that with beacons, you don’t know from which direction the signal came. But if you use Indoor Location, then you will know the exact position of people in the room, and if robot also knows its position in the room somehow, then it can navigate itself to one of the people.

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