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Seminars - Abstract

Carl D. Crane, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Director of the Center for Intelligent Machines and Robotics (CIMAR)
University of Florida

Title: Development of Autonomously Navigating Ground Vehicles

Abstract: The seminar describes the technologies that are needed for vehicles to drive autonomously in structured urban environments and in unstructured fieldsuv environments. The first part of the seminar focuses on Team Gator Nation's entry in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. A hybrid Toyota Highlander was automated and instrumented with pose estimation (GPS and inertial) and object detection (vision and ladar) sensors. The control architecture consists of four primary elements, i.e. Planning Element, Perception Element, Intelligence Element, and Control Element. The Intelligence Element implements the Adaptive Planning Framework developed by researchers at the University of Florida. This framework provides a means for situation assessment, behavior mode evaluation, and behavior selection and execution. The architecture is implemented on a system distributed over ten dual-core computers that intercommunicate via the Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems (JAUS) version 3.2 protocol. Results of the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge will be presented.

The second part of the seminar describes current work that automates range clearance operations for the military. Autonomous systems are being developed that can accomplish the tasks of vegetation clearance, near-surface metal removal, sub-surface metal detection, and sub-surface metal removal. These represent complex tasks in an unstructured environment. Team Gator Nation's DARPA Urban Challenge Vehicle



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