/The Atacama Desert Trek: Outcomes

The Atacama Desert Trek: Outcomes

Deepak Bapna, Eric Rollins, John Murphy, Mark Maimone, William (Red) L. Whittaker and David Wettergreen
Conference Paper, Proceedings of ICRA 1998, Vol. 1, pp. 597 - 604, May, 1998

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In June and July 1997, Nomad, a planetary-relevant mobile robot, traversed more than 220 kilometers across the barren Atacama Desert in Chile, exploring a landscape analogous to the surfaces of the Moon and Mars. In this unprecedented demonstration, Nomad operated both autonomously and under the control of operators thousands of kilometers away, addressing issues of robot configuration, communication, position estimation, and navigation in rugged, natural terrain. The field experiment also served to test technologies for remote geological investigation, paving the way for new exploration strategies on Earth and beyond. Finally, by combining safeguarded teleoperation with panoramic visualization and a novel user interface, the Atacama Desert Trek provided the general public a compelling interactive experience an opportunity to remotely drive an exploratory robot. Nomad’s performance in the Atacama Desert Trek set new benchmark in high performance robotics operations relevant to terrestrial and planetary exploration. This paper presents an overview of the experiment, describes technologies key to Nomad’s success, and discusses outcomes and implications.

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BibTeX Reference
author = {Deepak Bapna and Eric Rollins and John Murphy and Mark Maimone and William (Red) L. Whittaker and David Wettergreen},
title = {The Atacama Desert Trek: Outcomes},
booktitle = {Proceedings of ICRA 1998},
year = {1998},
month = {May},
volume = {1},
pages = {597 - 604},