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Leader-Following for Mobile Robots

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W56HZV-10-C-0443
Agency Tracking Number: A10A-030-0110
Amount: $99,178.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: A10A-T030
Solicitation Number: 2010.A
Solicitation Year: 2010
Award Year: 2010
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2010-09-22
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2011-03-22
Small Business Information
100 Northeast Loop 410 Suite 520
San Antonio, TX 78216
United States
DUNS: 193786014
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Eric Huber
 Senior Scientist
 (281) 461-7884
Business Contact
 David Kortenkamp
Title: President
Phone: (281) 461-7884
Research Institution
 Brown University
 Odest Chadwicke Jenkins
Department of Computer Science Box 1910, 115 Waterman St.
Providence, RI 2912
United States

 (401) 863-7600
 Nonprofit College or University

TRACLabs Inc. has worked with NASA to create indoor/outdoor, vision-based leader-following systems for sparse, extra-terrestrial environments. Brown University's Robotics Group has demonstrated leader-following and gesture recognition in high-traffic, dynamic, indoor environments using active lidar sensing. We propose to combine our technologies in order to create a passive sensing system that will facilitate unmanned leader-following in novel, cluttered, and dynamic environments. We plan to accomplish this goal via the synthesis of TRACLabs' technologies for stereo-vision-based pursuit, safe 6-degree-of-freedom navigation, and multi-sensor object tracking with the Brown Robotics Group's innovative algorithms for gesture recognition and person-following. Our Phase I aims are 1) to demonstrate an initial leader-following prototype, using our existing technologies to achieve close-range, vision-based leader-following in cluttered and dynamic indoor/outdoor environments and 2) to provide a detailed assessment of the hardware and software extensions needed for the long-range Phase II system. In Phase II, we plan extend our system to long-range outdoor leader-following, including conveys of non-human leaders. We will focus on leader-following at human running speeds and on utilizing alternative passive sensing, like thermal sensing, to achieve robust tracking at long-range distances. Long-term, we expect to integrate our system with unmanned military robots, like PackBot, Talon, and MULE platforms.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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