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Proceedings Paper

Practical autonomous path planner for turn-of-the-century planetary microrovers
Author(s): Sharon L. Laubach; Joel W. Burdick
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Paper Abstract

With the success of Mars Pathfinder's Sojourner rover, a new era of planetary exploration has opened, with demand for highly capable mobile robots. These robots must be able to traverse long distances over rough, unknown terrain autonomously, under severe resource constraints. Based on the authors' firsthand experience with the Mars Pathfinder mission, this paper reviews issues which are critical for successful autonomous navigation of planetary rovers. No currently proposed methodology addresses all of these issues. We next report on the 'Wedgebug' algorithm, which is applicable to planetary rover navigation in SE. The Wedgebug algorithm is complete, correct, requires minimal memory for storage of its worked model, and uses only on-board sensors, which are guided by the algorithm to efficiently senses only the data needed for motion planning. The implementation of a version of Wedgebug on the Rocky7 Mars Rover prototype at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is described, and experimental results from operation in simulated martian terrain are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 January 1999
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3525, Mobile Robots XIII and Intelligent Transportation Systems, (8 January 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.335696
Show Author Affiliations
Sharon L. Laubach, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Joel W. Burdick, California Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3525:
Mobile Robots XIII and Intelligent Transportation Systems
Howie M. Choset; Pushkin Kachroo; Mikhail A. Kourjanski; Douglas W. Gage; Pushkin Kachroo; Marten J. de Vries; Mikhail A. Kourjanski; Marten J. de Vries, Editor(s)

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