Mission Modeling, Planning, and Execution Module (M2PEM) is a user friendly graphical framework for mission design and execution. It extends a subset of the Business Process Modeling and Notation (BPMN) 2.0 for robotic applications. Hierarchical abstractions fundamental to BPMN allow the mission to be naturally decomposed into interdependent parallel sequences of BPMN elements. M2PEM adapts these elements in a role based framework which uses collaborative control modalities as an atomic building block. Designed missions are able to consider situational data, external stimuli, and direct user interaction. Missions are directly executable using a resource manager and a ROS-based execution engine.
A novel cooperative path planning framework is presented for maintaining formations along a desired, unknown route where spatial and temporal objectives must be considered. It uses a reference frame based on longitudinal spacing along the route and lateral orthogonal offsets to plan for route clearance and traversal around previously unknown obstacles. By defining desired positions in terms of offsets from the route, the spatial and temporal components can be decoupled. The spatial components are planned using a two-step planner for fast real-time planning. The spatially defined paths are passed to a speed adaptation algorithm for temporal considerations including inter-vehicle collision avoidance. The approach balances real-time obstacle avoidance, spatial structure of the formation, and inter-vehicle safety considerations.
Interfacing with and supervising a team of heterogeneous, modular robotic systems across various, dynamic mission sets poses significant demands on the design of an operator control unit (OCU). This paper presents an architecture and OCU design which focuses on three key elements addressing this problem: 1. A well-defined system architecture for external interfacing, 2. Dynamic device discovery to advertise current capabilities, and 3. A flexible front-end to convey situational awareness. The system architecture and external interface is influenced by work done in 4D/RCS (Four Dimensional Real-time Control System) to provide a hierarchical decomposition of the system autonomy. The platform independent, web-based OCU is capable of interacting with any level of the system-of-systems from low-level teleoperation of a single vehicle to section-level concerns such as commanding coordinated tactical behaviors across multiple vehicles. The architecture design facilitates dynamic discovery of the team of vehicles and their respective payloads. The OCU subscribes to pertinent data from these advertised systems, providing multiple human supervisors the ability to interact with and receive concurrent visual representation of them and their status. System failures, payload detections, and user decision prompts are displayed in a prominent yet unobtrusive manner. The OCU was used to control a heterogeneous team of four vehicles performing coordinated route clearance operations in a set of four demonstration vignettes. Results of a technical exercise using this system are described herein. Keyword
Under the Urban Environment Exploration project, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacic (SSC-
PAC) is maturing technologies and sensor payloads that enable man-portable robots to operate autonomously
within the challenging conditions of urban environments. Previously, SSC-PAC has demonstrated robotic capabilities to navigate and localize without GPS and map the ground
oors of various building sizes.1 SSC-PAC has
since extended those capabilities to localize and map multiple multi-story buildings within a specied area. To
facilitate these capabilities, SSC-PAC developed technologies that enable the robot to detect stairs/stairwells,
maintain localization across multiple environments (e.g. in a 3D world, on stairs, with/without GPS), visualize
data in 3D, plan paths between any two points within the specied area, and avoid 3D obstacles. These technologies have been developed as independent behaviors under the Autonomous Capabilities Suite, a behavior
architecture, and demonstrated at a MOUT site at Camp Pendleton. This paper describes the perceptions and
behaviors used to produce these capabilities, as well as an example demonstration scenario.