20 September 2001 Vision-based semi-autonomous outdoor robot system to reduce soldier workload
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Abstract
Sensors and computational capability have not reached the point to enable small robots to navigate autonomously in unconstrained outdoor environments at tactically useful speeds. This problem is greatly reduced, however, if a soldier can lead the robot through terrain that he knows it can traverse. An application of this concept is a small pack-mule robot that follows a foot soldier over outdoor terrain. The solder would be responsible to avoid situations beyond the robot's limitations when encountered. Having learned the route, the robot could autonomously retrace the path carrying supplies and munitions. This would greatly reduce the soldier's workload under normal conditions. This paper presents a description of a developmental robot sensor system using low-cost commercial 3D vision and inertial sensors to address this application. The robot moves at fast walking speed and requires only short-range perception to accomplish its task. 3D-feature information is recorded on a composite route map that the robot uses to negotiate its local environment and retrace the path taught by the soldier leader.
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Al Richardson, Al Richardson, Michael H. Rodgers, Michael H. Rodgers, } "Vision-based semi-autonomous outdoor robot system to reduce soldier workload", Proc. SPIE 4364, Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology III, (20 September 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.440000; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.440000
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