23 May 2011 Taking on the tall poles of autonomous robot navigation
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Abstract
The Holy Grail of autonomous ground robotics has been to make ground vehicles that behave like humans. Over the years, as a community, we have realized the difficulty of this task, and we have back pedaled from the initial Holy Grail and have constrained and narrowed the domains of operation in order to get robotic systems fielded. This has lead to phrases such as "operation in structured environments" and "open-and-rolling terrain" in the context of autonomous robot navigation. Unfortunately, constraining the problem in this way has only put off the inevitable, i.e., solving the myriad of difficult robotics problems that we identified as long ago as the 1980's on the Autonomous Land Vehicle Project and in most cases are still facing today. These "Tall Poles" have included but are not limited to navigation through complex terrain geometry, navigation through thick vegetation, the detection of geometry-less obstacles such as negative obstacles and thin obstacles, the ability to deal with diverse and dynamic environmental conditions, the ability to function in dynamic and cluttered environments alongside other humans, and any combination of the above. This paper is an overview of the progress we have made at Autonomous Systems over the last three years in trying to knock down some of the tall poles remaining in the field of autonomous ground robotics.
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Mark Rosenblum, Venkat Rajagopalan, John Steinbis, John Haddon, Paul Cannon, "Taking on the tall poles of autonomous robot navigation", Proc. SPIE 8045, Unmanned Systems Technology XIII, 804516 (23 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.891039; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.891039
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