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Proceedings Paper

Implementation of small robot autonomy in an integrated environment
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Paper Abstract

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory's (ARL) Computational and Information Sciences Directorate (CISD) has long been involved in autonomous asset control, specifically as it relates to small robots. Over the past year, CISD has been making strides in the implementation of three areas of small robot autonomy, namely platform autonomy, Soldier-robot interface, and tactical behaviors. It is CISD's belief that these three areas must be considered as a whole in order to provide Soldiers with useful capabilities. In addressing these areas, CISD has integrated a COTS LADAR into the head of an iRobot PackBot Explorer, providing ranging information with minimal disruption to the physical characteristics of the platform. Using this range data is an implementation of obstacle detection and avoidance (OD/OA), leveraged from an existing autonomy software suite, running on the platform's native processor. These capabilities will serve as the foundation of our targeted behaviorbased control methodologies. The first behavior is guarded tele-operation that augments the existing ARL robotic control infrastructure. The second is the implementation of a multi-robot cooperative mapping behavior. Developed at ARL, collaborative simultaneous localization and mapping (CSLAM) will allow multiple robots to build a common map of an area, providing the Soldier operator with a singular view of that area. This paper will describe the hardware and software integration of the LADAR sensor into the ARL robotic control system. Further, the paper will discuss the implementation of the small robot OD/OA and CSLAM software components performed by ARL, as well as results on their performance and benefits to the Soldier.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 April 2009
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7332, Unmanned Systems Technology XI, 73321U (30 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.818494
Show Author Affiliations
Barry J. O'Brien, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Laurel Sadler, Army Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7332:
Unmanned Systems Technology XI
Grant R. Gerhart; Douglas W. Gage; Charles M. Shoemaker, Editor(s)

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