Bird's Eye View: Cooperative Exploration by UGV and UAV

picture

This project addresses the problem of cooperative exploration using an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). More specifically, the UGV navigates through the free space, and the UAV provides enhanced situational awareness via its higher vantage point. The motivating application is search and rescue in a damaged building, where the UGV navigates on the ground utilizing the generalized Voronoi graph (GVG) while the UAV uses its bottom facing camera to maintain a fixed pose above the UGV by tracking a fiducial marker. Furthermore, the UAV uses its front facing camera to provide a bird's-eye-view to the remote operator and even observe beyond obstacles that obscure the sensors of the UGV. The proposed approach was tested using a TurtleBot 2 equipped with a Hokyuo laser ranger finder and a Parrot AR.Drone 2.0. Experimental results demonstrate the feasibility of our approach. This work was based on several open source packages and the generated code will be available online.

Participants

Shannon Hood, Kelly Benson, Patrick Hamod, Daniel Madison, and Ioannis Rekleitis.

For questions relating to this project, please contact Shannon Hood at hoodsr@email.sc.edu.