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2 September 2004 Leader-follower function for autonomous military convoys
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The French Military Robotic Study Program (introduced in Aerosense 2003), sponsored by the French Defense Procurement Agency and managed by Thales Airborne Systems as the prime contractor, focuses on about 15 robotic themes which can provide an immediate "operational added value." The paper details the "robotic convoy" theme (named TEL1), which main purpose is to develop a robotic leader-follower function so that several unmanned vehicles can autonomously follow teleoperated, autonomous or on-board driven leader. Two modes have been implemented: Perceptive follower: each autonomous follower anticipates the trajectory of the vehicle in front of it, thanks to a dedicated perception equipment. This mode is mainly based on the use of perceptive data, without any communication link between leader and follower (to lower the cost of future mass development and extend the operational capabilities). Delayed follower: the leader records its path and transmits it to the follower; the follower is able to follow the recorded trajectory again at any delayed time. This mode uses localization data got from inertial measurements. The paper presents both modes with detailed algorithms and the results got from the military acceptance tests performed on wheeled 4x4 vehicles (DARDS French ATD).
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Laurent Vasseur, Olivier Lecointe, Jerome Dento, Nourrdine Cherfaoui, Vincent Marion, and Joel G. Morillon "Leader-follower function for autonomous military convoys", Proc. SPIE 5422, Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology VI, (2 September 2004);


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