/Experiments with Driving Modes for Urban Robots

Experiments with Driving Modes for Urban Robots

Martial Hebert, Robert MacLachlan and Peng Chang
Conference Paper, Proceedings of SPIE, January, 1999

Download Publication (PDF)

Copyright notice: This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author’s copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.


In this paper, we describe experiments on semi-autonomous control of a small urban robot. Three driving modes allow semi-autonomous control of the robot through video imagery, or by using partial maps of the environment. Performance is analyzed in terms of maximum speed, terrain roughness, environmental conditions, and ease of control. We concentrate the discussion on a driving mode based on visual servoing. In this mode, a template designated in an image is tracked as the robot moves toward the destination designated by the operator. Particular attention is given to the robustness of the tracking with respect to template selection, computational resources, occlusions, and rough motion. The discussion of algorithm performance is based on experiments conducted at Ft. Sam Houston, TX, on Jul. 5 – 9 1999. In addition to the driving modes themselves, the performance and practicality of an omnidirectional imaging sensor is discussed. In particular, we discuss the typical imaging artifacts due to ambient lighting.

BibTeX Reference
author = {Martial Hebert and Robert MacLachlan and Peng Chang},
title = {Experiments with Driving Modes for Urban Robots},
booktitle = {Proceedings of SPIE},
year = {1999},
month = {January},