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The Wayfarer Modular Navigation Payload for Intelligent Robot Infrastructure Brian Yamauchi [email protected] Autonomous Urban Recon Critical Army need Daily casualties during patrols Hazards Snipers Improvised explosive devices RPGs Teleop is not enough Limited comms range

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The wayfarer modular navigation payload for intelligent robot infrastructure l.jpg

The Wayfarer Modular Navigation Payload for Intelligent Robot Infrastructure

Brian Yamauchi

[email protected]


Autonomous urban recon l.jpg
Autonomous Urban Recon Robot Infrastructure

  • Critical Army need

  • Daily casualties during patrols

  • Hazards

    • Snipers

    • Improvised explosive devices

    • RPGs

  • Teleop is not enough

    • Limited comms range

    • Line-of-sight restrictions

    • Limited bandwidth


Modular navigation infrastructure l.jpg
Modular Navigation Infrastructure Robot Infrastructure

PackBot ►

FCS SUGV

Wayfarer Modular Navigation Payload

◄ R-Gator


Wayfarer objectives l.jpg
Wayfarer Objectives Robot Infrastructure

  • Focused, applied research project

  • Develop technology to enable small UGVs to perform autonomous recon missions

  • Enable small UGVs to:

    • Navigate autonomously down urban streets

    • Record digital video (EO/IR) and build map

    • Return autonomously to starting point

    • Provide video log and map to warfighters


Urban reconnaissance missions l.jpg
Urban Reconnaissance Missions Robot Infrastructure

  • Perimeter Recon

    • Follow outside wall of building

  • Route Recon

    • Follow current street for specified distance

  • Street Recon

    • Follow GPS waypoints and street directions

  • Record EO/IR video and build map

  • Return to starting point


Wayfarer sensors l.jpg
Wayfarer Sensors Robot Infrastructure

  • SICK LD OEM 360-degree planar LADAR

  • Point Grey Bumblebee stereo vision system

  • Organic GPS receiver

  • Crossbow six-axis IMU

  • Color and low-light B/W video cameras

  • Indigo Omega FLIR camera

  • Swiss Ranger 3D flash LADAR


Wayfarer packbot l.jpg
Wayfarer PackBot Robot Infrastructure


Scaled vector field histogram svfh l.jpg
Scaled Vector Field Histogram (SVFH) Robot Infrastructure

  • Extension of Borenstein & Koren’s Vector Field Histogram (VFH) obstacle avoidance

  • VFH: Map each range reading from sensors to corresponding polar coordinate sector

  • SVFH: Spread each reading to vote for all sectors within an arc length inversely proportional to range:

    q = k / r

    q: arc length (radians),

    k: constant (0.4), r: range (meters)


Svfh hallway example l.jpg
SVFH Hallway Example Robot Infrastructure

SVFH Bins

Clear Vectors


Svfh intersection example l.jpg
SVFH Intersection Example Robot Infrastructure

SVFH Bins

Clear Vectors


Wayfarer obstacle avoidance l.jpg
Wayfarer Obstacle Avoidance Robot Infrastructure


Perimeter following l.jpg
Perimeter Following Robot Infrastructure

  • Detect and follow building walls

  • Hough Transform

    • Detects linear features in range data

    • Finds building walls and other street-aligned features (e.g. cars, curbs)

    • Collects votes to determine current wall heading

  • Integrated with obstacle avoidance


Hallway wall detection l.jpg
Hallway Wall Detection Robot Infrastructure

All Lines

Best Line


Intersection wall detection l.jpg
Intersection Wall Detection Robot Infrastructure

All Lines

Best Line


Outdoor perimeter detection l.jpg
Outdoor Perimeter Detection Robot Infrastructure

Wall Tracking

Landscape Tracking


Wayfarer perimeter following l.jpg
Wayfarer Perimeter Following Robot Infrastructure


Autonomous mapping l.jpg
Autonomous Mapping Robot Infrastructure

  • Build occupancy grid map on robot

  • Transmit local region back to OCU to minimize bandwidth usage

  • Runs in parallel with navigation and avoidance

  • Robot can travel beyond communications range and return with a map

  • Can also run in background during teleoperation


Wayfarer autonomous mapping l.jpg
Wayfarer Autonomous Mapping Robot Infrastructure


Indoor map l.jpg
Indoor Map Robot Infrastructure


Localization l.jpg
Localization Robot Infrastructure

  • Heading tracking using Hough transform

    • Track orientation of linear features

    • Use to estimate robot orientation

  • Alternative approaches

    • Scan matching

    • GPS/Compass/INS

    • Kalman filters

    • Particle filters (Monte Carlo SLAM)


Future work l.jpg
Future Work Robot Infrastructure

  • Outdoor testing of perimeter following

  • Street following

  • GPS-based street navigation


Conclusions l.jpg
Conclusions Robot Infrastructure

  • Wayfarer will provide autonomous urban navigation technology for man-portable UGVs

  • By September 2005, we will have two fully-operational Wayfarer UGV prototypes able to perform urban reconnaissance missions

  • Wayfarer navigation payload will provide intelligent navigation infrastructure for PackBots and R-Gators, as well as FCS SUGV and other UGVs


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