PROWL: Perception for Robotic Operation Without Light

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W56HZV-11-C-0153
Agency Tracking Number: A103-175-0104
Amount: $119,993.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: A10-175
Solicitation Number: 2010.3
Small Business Information
Traclabs, Inc.
100 Northeast Loop 410, Suite 520, San Antonio, TX, -
DUNS: 193786014
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Patrick Beeson
 Senior Scientist
 (281) 461-7884
 pbeeson@traclabs.com
Business Contact
 David Kortenkamp
Title: President/CEO
Phone: (281) 461-7884
Email: korten@traclabs.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
At TRACLabs Inc., we believe that commercially-viable, nighttime sensing of the local 3D terrain is achievable in the near-term by careful selection and integration of sensing hardware and intelligent perception algorithms. Yet, multiple important research items do exist. Our Phase I aims are 1) to build a prototype sensor that synchronizes COTS thermal imagers into a stereo-camera head, 2) to demonstrate a PROWL prototype that produces a) stereo-based distance estimates, b) visual-odometry, and c) 3D maps in a controlled laboratory environment and 3) to provide an accurate assessment of the hardware and software extensions needed for the long-range Phase II system. For Phase II, we will extend our system 1) to enable outdoor 3D perception in natural low-light conditions and at driving speeds and 2) to provide 360 degree sensing. We will also focus on real-time driveability analysis from the 3D point clouds and on providing efficient, yet informative, 2.5D representations of the environment as part of the system's API. Long-term, we expect to integrate our system with specific unmanned military robots, including PackBot, Talon, ANDROS, and MULE platforms.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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