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
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: A10A-T030
Solicitation Number: 2010.A
Small Business Information
100 Northeast Loop 410, Suite 520, San Antonio, TX, 78216
DUNS: 193786014
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Eric Huber
 Senior Scientist
 (281) 461-7884
Business Contact
 David Kortenkamp
Title: President
Phone: (281) 461-7884
Email: korten@traclabs.com
Research Institution
 Brown University
 Odest Chadwicke Jenkins
 Department of Computer Science
Box 1910, 115 Waterman St.
Providence, RI, 2912
 (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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