Monocular Unmanned Leader-Follower (MULE-F) System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W56HZV-12-C-0049
Agency Tracking Number: A2-4529
Amount: $738,300.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: A10a-T030
Solicitation Number: 2010.A
Small Business Information
MA, Cambridge, MA, 02138-4555
DUNS: 115243701
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Camille Monnier
 Camille Monnier
 (617) 491-3474
 cmonnier@cra.com
Business Contact
 Mark Felix
Title: Contracts Manager
Phone: (617) 491-3474
Email: mfelix@cra.com
Research Institution
 Boston University
 John F Imbergamo
 Office of Sponsored Programs
25 Buick Street
Boston, MA, 02215-
 (617) 353-4365
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
The Army has a clear need for an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) capable of autonomously accompanying a single soldier or vehicle. Such a UGV would help solve both logistical problems of soldiers needing to transport more equipment and supplies than they can carry in a backpack, and tactical problems of scouting unsafe areas. Multiple designs for such UGVs exist; however, they require active remote control or teleoperation, even for mundane tasks such as long-distance travel. Teleoperation is undesirable for these types of situations, as it requires"heads down"attention from the soldier, which reduces situational awareness and causes fatigue. We propose a Monocular Unmanned Leader-Follower (MULE-F) system for the autonomous tracking and following of a designated soldier or vehicle. The proposed system enables a UGV to autonomously follow a soldier or vehicle at operational following distances and speeds, using a single lightweight UGV-mounted video camera and requiring no modifications to the leader"s equipment. The system is specifically designed to operate in the presence of multiple visually-similar soldiers or vehicles by integrating the designated leader"s tracked kinematics with a learned appearance model, and may be controlled at a distance using intuitive arm/hand gestures.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government