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Proceedings Paper

Semi-autonomous unmanned ground vehicle control system
Author(s): Jonathan Anderson; Dah-Jye Lee; Robert Schoenberger; Zhaoyi Wei; James Archibald
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Paper Abstract

Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) have advantages over people in a number of different applications, ranging from sentry duty, scouting hazardous areas, convoying goods and supplies over long distances, and exploring caves and tunnels. Despite recent advances in electronics, vision, artificial intelligence, and control technologies, fully autonomous UGVs are still far from being a reality. Currently, most UGVs are fielded using tele-operation with a human in the control loop. Using tele-operations, a user controls the UGV from the relative safety and comfort of a control station and sends commands to the UGV remotely. It is difficult for the user to issue higher level commands such as patrol this corridor or move to this position while avoiding obstacles. As computer vision algorithms are implemented in hardware, the UGV can easily become partially autonomous. As Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) become larger and more powerful, vision algorithms can run at frame rate. With the rapid development of CMOS imagers for consumer electronics, frame rate can reach as high as 200 frames per second with a small size of the region of interest. This increase in the speed of vision algorithm processing allows the UGVs to become more autonomous, as they are able to recognize and avoid obstacles in their path, track targets, or move to a recognized area. The user is able to focus on giving broad supervisory commands and goals to the UGVs, allowing the user to control multiple UGVs at once while still maintaining the convenience of working from a central base station. In this paper, we will describe a novel control system for the control of semi-autonomous UGVs. This control system combines a user interface similar to a simple tele-operation station along with a control package, including the FPGA and multiple cameras. The control package interfaces with the UGV and provides the necessary control to guide the UGV.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 May 2006
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6230, Unmanned Systems Technology VIII, 62301M (9 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.666500
Show Author Affiliations
Jonathan Anderson, Brigham Young Univ. (United States)
Dah-Jye Lee, Brigham Young Univ. (United States)
Robert Schoenberger, Agris-Schoen Vision Systems, Inc. (United States)
Zhaoyi Wei, Brigham Young Univ. (United States)
James Archibald, Brigham Young Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6230:
Unmanned Systems Technology VIII
Grant R. Gerhart; Charles M. Shoemaker; Douglas W. Gage, Editor(s)

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