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Proceedings Paper

Simple sensors for performing useful tasks autonomously in complex outdoor terrain
Author(s): Erann Gat; Alberto Behar; Rajiv Desai; Robert V. Ivlev; John L. Loch; David P. Miller
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes the control system for Rocky IV, a prototype microrover designed to demonstrate proof-of-concept for a low-cost scientific mission to Mars. Rocky IV uses a behavior-based control architecture which implements a large variety of functions displaying various degrees of autonomy, from completely autonomous long-duration conditional sequences of actions to very precisely described actions resembling classical AI operators. The control system integrates information from infrared proximity sensors, proprioceptive encoders which report on the state of the articulation of the rover's suspension system and other mechanics, a homing beacon, a magnetic compass, and contact sensors. In addition, significant functionality is implemented as 'virtual sensors', computed values which are presented to the system as if they were sensors values. The robot is able to perform a variety of useful tasks, including soil sample collection, removal of surface weathering layers from rocks, spectral imaging, instrument deployment, and sample return, under realistic mission- like conditions in Mars-like terrain.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 1992
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 1828, Sensor Fusion V, (1 November 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.131667
Show Author Affiliations
Erann Gat, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Alberto Behar, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Rajiv Desai, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Robert V. Ivlev, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
John L. Loch, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
David P. Miller, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1828:
Sensor Fusion V
Paul S. Schenker, Editor(s)

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