This paper presents a new obstacle avoidance method that provides unobtrusive assistance to tele-operation of unmanned ground vehicles. Different from existing obstacle avoidance methods, the present method can determine whether the driving commands from an operator are safe in the presence of obstacles and can automatically adjust unsafe commands to help the operator avoid proximate obstacles. The command adjustment is done in an unobtrusive manner and conforms to the dynamic and kinematic constraints of the vehicle in order to minimize its interference to the operator. Due to its assistive and unobtrusive nature, this method can quietly share some control authority with an operator in tele-operating a vehicle, and hence it has the potential to make tele-operation of ground vehicles in challenging environments significantly easier and safer. The effectiveness of this method is demonstrated in extensive experiments in cluttered environments using military-grade tracked robots.
Mingfeng Zhang and Piotr Jasiobedzki, "Unobtrusive and assistive obstacle avoidance for tele-operation of ground vehicles," Proc. SPIE 10195, Unmanned Systems Technology XIX, 101950W (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 13, 2017; Published: 5 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2263514.
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