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Proceedings Paper

Foundations of autonomy for ground robotics
Author(s): Jonathan A. Bornstein; Robert R. Mitchell
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Paper Abstract

Unmanned systems have become a critical element of the Army's Force Structure for applications such as Emergency Ordnance Disposal (EOD). Systems currently fielded are typically tele-operated and, thus, impose significant cognitive burden upon the operator. The Robotics CTA (RCTA), a collaborative research endeavor between the Army Research Laboratory and a consortium of eight industrial and academic partners, is developing fundamental technology to enable a new level of autonomous capability for future unmanned systems that can act as teammates to Soldiers making up a small unit. The Alliance is focusing research in five key areas: a cognitively based world model, semantic perception, learning, meta-cognition, and adaptive behaviors. Because current world model representations are relatively shallow, metrically based, and support only brittle behaviors, the RCTA is creating a cognitive-to-metric world model that can incorporate and utilize mission context. Current perceptual capabilities for unmanned systems are generally limited to a small number of well defined objects or behaviors. The RCTA is raising perception to a semantic level that enables understanding of relationships among objects and behaviors. To successfully team with small units, the command and control of unmanned systems must move away from the current hardware controller paradigm to one of verbal and gestural communication, implicit cues, and transparency of action between Soldier and robot. The RCTA is also exploring adaptive behavior and mechanics that will permit manipulation of arbitrarily shaped objects, animal-like mobility in complex environments, and conduct of military missions in dynamic tactical conditions. Efforts to incorporate learning from the lowest levels of the architecture upwards are key to each of the above.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 May 2012
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8387, Unmanned Systems Technology XIV, 83870U (25 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.919721
Show Author Affiliations
Jonathan A. Bornstein, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Robert R. Mitchell, General Dynamics Robotic Systems (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8387:
Unmanned Systems Technology XIV
Robert E. Karlsen; Douglas W. Gage; Charles M. Shoemaker; Grant R. Gerhart, Editor(s)

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