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Proceedings Paper

Coordinated perception by teams of aerial and ground robots
Author(s): Benjamin P. Grocholsky; Rahul Swaminathan; Vijay Kumar; Camillo J. Taylor; George J. Pappas
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Paper Abstract

Air and ground vehicles exhibit complementary capabilities and characteristics as robotic sensor platforms. Fixed wing aircraft offer broad field of view and rapid coverage of search areas. However, minimum operating airspeed and altitude limits, combined with attitude uncertainty, place a lower limit on their ability to detect and localize ground features. Ground vehicles on the other hand offer high resolution sensing over relatively short ranges with the disadvantage of slow coverage. This paper presents a decentralized architecture and solution methodology for seamlessly realizing the collaborative potential of air and ground robotic sensor platforms. We provide a framework based on an established approach to the underlying sensor fusion problem. This provides transparent integration of information from heterogeneous sources. An information-theoretic utility measure captures the task objective and robot inter-dependencies. A simple distributed solution mechanism is employed to determine team member sensing trajectories subject to the constraints of individual vehicle and sensor sub-systems. The architecture is applied to a mission involving searching for and localizing an unknown number of targets in an user specified search area. Results for a team of two fixed wing UAVs and two all terrain UGVs equipped with vision sensors are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 December 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5609, Mobile Robots XVII, (29 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.571769
Show Author Affiliations
Benjamin P. Grocholsky, Univ. of Pennsylvania (United States)
Rahul Swaminathan, Univ. of Pennsylvania (United States)
Vijay Kumar, Univ. of Pennsylvania (United States)
Camillo J. Taylor, Univ. of Pennsylvania (United States)
George J. Pappas, Univ. of Pennsylvania (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5609:
Mobile Robots XVII
Douglas W. Gage, Editor(s)

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