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Portable mobile robots, in the size class of 20 kg or less, could be extremely valuable as autonomous reconnaissance platforms in urban hostage situations and disaster relief. We have developed a prototype urban robot on a novel chassis with articulated tracks that enable stair climbing and scrambling over rubble. Autonomous navigation capabilities of the(More)
Detecting water hazards is a significant challenge to unmanned ground vehicle autonomous off-road navigation. This paper focuses on detecting and localizing water bodies during the daytime using a stereo pair of color cameras. A multi-cue approach is taken. Evidence of the presence of water is generated from color, texture, and the detection of terrain(More)
Reliable detection of non-traversable hazards is a key requirement for off-road autonomous navigation. Under the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Collaborative Technology Alliances (CTA) program, JPL has evaluated the performance of seven obstacle detection algorithms on a General Dynamics Robotic Systems (GDRS) surveyed obstacle course containing 21(More)
Detecting water hazards is a significant challenge to unmanned ground vehicle autonomous off-road navigation. This paper focuses on detecting the presence of water during the daytime using color cameras. A multi-cue approach is taken. Evidence of the presence of water is generated from color, texture, and the detection of reflections in stereo range data. A(More)
Tracked mobile robots in the 20 kg size class are under development for applications in urban reconnaissance. For efficient deployment, it is desirable for teams of robots to be able to automatically execute path following behaviors, with one or more followers tracking the path taken by a leader. The key challenges to enabling such a capability are (1) to(More)
Autonomous off-road navigation through forested areas is particularly challenging when there exists a mixture of densely distributed thin and thick trees. To make progress through a dense forest, the robot must decide which trees it can push over and which trees it must circumvent. This paper describes a stereo-based tree traversability algorithm(More)
Successful off-road autonomous navigation by an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) requires reliable perception and representation of natural terrain. While perception algorithms are used to detect driving hazards, terrain mapping algorithms are used to represent the detected hazards in a world model a UGV can use to plan safe paths. There are two primary ways(More)