Long-Distance Autonomous Survey and Mapping in the Robotic Investigation of Life in the Atacama Desert

David Wettergreen, Michael D. Wagner, Dominic Jonak, Vijayakumar Baskaran, Matthew Deans, Stuart Heys, David Pane, Trey Smith, James Teza, David R. Thompson, Paul Tompkins, and Chris Williams
International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space (iSAIRAS), March, 2008.


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Abstract
To study life in the Mars-like Atacama Desert of Chile we have created a robot, Zo? and conducted three seasons of technical and scientific experiments. We describe Zo?s exploration algorithms and architecture and assess a total of six months of long distance survey traverses. To date Zo?has navigated autonomously over 250 km. Its average distance per autonomous traverse is 672 m with 75 traverses over one kilometer in a single command cycle. Zo?s payload includes instruments to rapidly measure biologic and geologic properties of the environment. By registering these measurements to estimated position scientists are able to correlate biologic, geologic and environmental factors and better understand life and its habitats in the most arid desert on Earth.

Keywords
autonomous navigation, exploration robot, astrobiology

Notes
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Field Robotics Center
Associated Project(s): Life in the Atacama

Text Reference
David Wettergreen, Michael D. Wagner, Dominic Jonak, Vijayakumar Baskaran, Matthew Deans, Stuart Heys, David Pane, Trey Smith, James Teza, David R. Thompson, Paul Tompkins, and Chris Williams, "Long-Distance Autonomous Survey and Mapping in the Robotic Investigation of Life in the Atacama Desert," International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space (iSAIRAS), March, 2008.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Wettergreen_2008_6178,
   author = "David Wettergreen and Michael D Wagner and Dominic Jonak and Vijayakumar Baskaran and Matthew Deans and Stuart Heys and David Pane and Trey Smith and James Teza and David R Thompson and Paul Tompkins and Chris Williams",
   title = "Long-Distance Autonomous Survey and Mapping in the Robotic Investigation of Life in the Atacama Desert",
   booktitle = "International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space (iSAIRAS)",
   month = "March",
   year = "2008",
}