Proceedings of the International Advanced Robotics Programme’s 7th International Workshop on Robotics for Risky Environments – Extreme Robotics (IARP RISE-ER 2013), Saint Petersburg, Russia, (October 2013)
We are prototyping a robust system to autonomously maneuver a small mobile ground relay robot to track and follow a tele-operated lead robot while reactively and proactively positioning itself to optimize relay communications signals between the lead robot and its control station. Our approach involves generating and updating a sparse obstacle map of the area based on inputs such as GPS positions, radio signal strength, and computer vision-based object detection using a single electro-optical camera. The relay robot’s path is optimized for its future ability to effectively relay signals back to the control station. Finally, we execute maneuver instructions to reposition the relay robot. We have achieved an 89% increase in effective control range during preliminary field tests.
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