17 May 2013 Achieving integrated convoys: cargo unmanned ground vehicle development and experimentation
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Abstract
The Cargo UGV project was initiated in 2010 with the aim of developing and experimenting with advanced autonomous vehicles capable of being integrated unobtrusively into manned logistics convoys. The intent was to validate two hypotheses in complex, operationally representative environments: first, that unmanned tactical wheeled vehicles provide a force protection advantage by creating standoff distance to warfighters during ambushes or improvised explosive device attacks; and second, that these UGVs serve as force multipliers by enabling a single operator to control multiple unmanned assets. To assess whether current state-of-the-art autonomous vehicle technology was sufficiently capable to permit resupply missions to be executed with decreased risk and reduced manpower, and to assess the effect of UGVs on customary convoy tactics, the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory and the Joint Ground Robotics Enterprise sponsored Oshkosh Defense and the National Robotics Engineering Center to equip two standard Marine Corps cargo trucks for autonomous operation. This paper details the system architecture, hardware implementation, and software modules developed to meet the vehicle control, perception, and planner requirements compelled by this application. Additionally, the design of a custom human machine interface and an accompanying training program are described, as is the creation of a realistic convoy simulation environment for rapid system development. Finally, results are conveyed from a warfighter experiment in which the effectiveness of the training program for novice operators was assessed, and the impact of the UGVs on convoy operations was observed in a variety of scenarios via direct comparison to a fully manned convoy.
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Noah Zych, Noah Zych, David Silver, David Silver, David Stager, David Stager, Colin Green, Colin Green, Thomas Pilarski, Thomas Pilarski, Jacob Fischer, Jacob Fischer, Noah Kuntz, Noah Kuntz, Dean Anderson, Dean Anderson, Albert Costa, Albert Costa, Joseph Gannon, Joseph Gannon, Joseph Lisee, Joseph Lisee, Peter Rander, Peter Rander, Michael K. Sergi-Curfman, Michael K. Sergi-Curfman, Christopher Shaw, Christopher Shaw, Daniel Tascione, Daniel Tascione, Nicolas Vandapel, Nicolas Vandapel, John Beck, John Beck, } "Achieving integrated convoys: cargo unmanned ground vehicle development and experimentation", Proc. SPIE 8741, Unmanned Systems Technology XV, 87410Y (17 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2015586; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2015586
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