We are developing autonomous navigation capabilities for mobile robots driving in complex, unstructured outdoor terrain. Ultimately, the goal of this work is for teams of robots to be able to drive fully autonomously over long distances, i.e., many miles, in unknown terrain. This project is part of DoD Demo III program. The target mobile robot platform for this project is designed by the Demo III prime integrator, Robotic Systems Technology (RST). The technology developed at CMU was also demonstrated using retrofit HMMWVs as part of the Navlab project.
In this project we are specifically interested in the following technical areas:
- World Model Representations: Integration of multiple sources of information into a comprehensive world model, including cost and obstacle maps, terrain types, object types, risk maps, etc.
- Intelligent Behaviors: Advanced behaviors for autonomous navigation such feature tracking, stealthy driving.
- Sensing for Hazard Detection and Terrain Typing: Advanced techniques for obstacle detection in rough terrain, particularly negative obstacles, and for terrain typing and interpretation.
- Map Fusion: Fusion of data from maps from different vehicles and different sensors. This area also includes the use of map registration techniques to compensate for position estimate discrepancy between vehicles.
Other driving modes are also being explored in this program at CMU, including teleoperation, software architecture and map-based planning.