Landmark Navigation for Unmanned Ground Vehicles

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W56HZV-12-C-0401
Agency Tracking Number: A12A-030-0062
Amount: $99,977.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: A12a-T030
Solicitation Number: 2012.A
Small Business Information
13620 Merriman Road, Livonia, MI, 48150-1814
DUNS: 176513604
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Douglas MacKenzie
 Chief Scientist
 (734) 367-0430
 dmackenzie@mobile-intalligence.com
Business Contact
 John Robbins
Title: Program Manager
Phone: (915) 309-1891
Email: jrobbins@mobile-intelligence.com
Research Institution
 Wayne State University
 Gary W PhD
 Mechanical Engineering
5050 Anthony Wayne Drive, Room
Detroit, MI, 48202-
 (734) 665-4818
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
Mobile Intelligence Corporation (MIC) and Wayne State University propose a virtual teleoperation and visual landmark navigation system for UGV teleoperation in buildings, tunnels and caves. The challenge is search and navigation in complex structures with sparse visual cues, high-latency low-bandwidth communications, UGVs with low-cost vision sensors, and only intermittent static 2D visual feedback presented in non-real time. Our solution leverages prior research developments. The Virtual Teleoperation Interface enables the operator to define visual waypoints by driving a virtual UGV in a virtual world. The virtual world wraps a static image from the UGV onto a surface facet model. The UGV"s Scene Analysis function generates the surface facet model and identifies associated visual landmarks. The UGV uses Visual Landmark Referencing for self-location relative to visual waypoints. Our solution provides the operator with teleoperation control and visual feedback similar to traditional continuous teleoperation. It enables the UGV to follow the operators"navigation relative to visual cues and landmarks while communications are delayed or interrupted. It converges to standard teleoperation when communications bandwidth is available. The system will be integrated with MIC"s multi-platform OCU and UGV AutoNav products, for demonstration on a physical UGV. Integration will leverage MIC"s Virtual Systems Integration Laboratory software.

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

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