Carnegie Mellon University
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Safety for UGVs
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
Unmanned systems must be able to operate safely around people. NREC is pioneering an innovative approach to making UGVs safer to operate and work around. A built-in Safety Monitor enforces a set of rules that specify safe behavior. These rules can vary depending on the UGV’s mission and proximity of personnel.

The Safety Monitor is completely independent of the vehicle’s other systems. It can stop or slow down the vehicle if any safety rules are violated. This approach allows UGVs to reliably maintain safe stand-off distances from personnel and reduces the need for protective barriers. It also allows UGVs to be independently tested and verified for safe behavior.

The Autonomous Platform Demonstrator (APD) is the first UGV to use the Safety Monitor as part of its overall safety approach.