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Proceedings Paper

Terrain trafficability characterization with a mobile robot
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Paper Abstract

Most research on off-road mobile robot sensing focuses on obstacle negotiation, path planning, and position estimation. These issues have conventionally been the foremost factors limiting the performance and speeds of mobile robots. Very little attention has been paid to date to the issue of terrain trafficability, that is, the terrain's ability to support vehicular traffic. Yet, trafficability is of great importance if mobile robots are to reach speeds that human-driven vehicles can reach on rugged terrain. For example, it is obvious that the maximal allowable speed for a turn is lower when driving over sand or wet grass than when driving on packed dirt or asphalt. This paper presents our work on automated real-time characterization of terrain with regard to trafficability for small mobile robots. The two proposed methods can be implemented on skid-steer mobile robots and possibly also on tracked mobile robots. The paper also presents experimental results for each of the two implemented methods.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 May 2005
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5804, Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology VII, (27 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.601499
Show Author Affiliations
Lauro Ojeda, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Johann Borenstein, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Gary Witus, Turing Associates, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5804:
Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology VII
Grant R. Gerhart; Charles M. Shoemaker; Douglas W. Gage, Editor(s)

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