2 September 2004 T-transformation: traversability analysis for navigation on rugged terrain
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In order to maneuver autonomously on rough terrain, a mobile robot must constantly decide whether to traverse or circumnavigate terrain features ahead. This ability is called Obstacle Negotiation (ON). A critical aspect of ON is the so-called traversability analysis, which evaluates the level of difficulty associated with the traversal of the terrain. This paper presents a new method for traversability analysis, called T-transformation. It is implemented in a local terrain map as follows: (1) For each cell in the local terrain map, a square terrain patch is defined that symmetrically overlays the cell; (2) a plane is fitted to the data points in the terrain patch using a least-square approach and the slope of the least-squares plane and the residual of the fit are computed and used to calculate the Traversability Index (TI) for that cell; (3) after each cell is assigned a TI value, the local terrain map is transformed into a traversability map. The traversability map is further transformed into a traversability field histogram where each element represents the overall level of difficulty to move along the corresponding direction. Based on the traversability field histogram our reactive ON system then computes the steering and velocity commands to move the robot toward the intended goal while avoiding areas of poor traversability. The traversability analysis algorithm and the overall ON system were verified by extensive simulation. We verified our method partially through experiments on a Segway Robotics Mobility Platform (RMP), albeit only on flat terrain.
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Cang Ye, Cang Ye, Johann Borenstein, Johann Borenstein, } "T-transformation: traversability analysis for navigation on rugged terrain", Proc. SPIE 5422, Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology VI, (2 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.542576; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.542576

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