Carnegie Mellon University
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Autonomous Loading (ALS)
This project is no longer active.
Contact: Thomas Gordon
Mailing address:
National Robotics Engineering Center
10 40th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Associated center(s) / consortia:
 National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC)
Project Homepage
This page last updated - June 2010.
The Autonomous Loading System (ALS) completely automates the task of loading excavated material onto dump trucks. The ALS robotic excavator is capable of loading trucks at the speed of an expert human operator, increasing productivity and improving the safety of excavation projects. The excavator uses two scanning LADAR rangefinders to locate the truck, measure the soil face and detect obstacles. The ALS software decides where to dig in the soil, where to dump the excavated soil in the truck, and how to quickly move between these points while detecting and stopping for obstacles. The system modifies both its digging and dumping plans based on soil settling detected by its sensors.