Abstract: This paper presents an autonomous navigation system for ground robots traversing aggressive unstructured terrain through a cohesive arrangement of mapping, deliberative planning and reactive behaviour modules. All systems are aware of terrain slope, visibility and vehicle orientation, enabling robots to recognize, plan and react around unobserved areas and overcome negative obstacles, slopes, steps, overhangs and narrow passageways. This is one of pioneer works to explicitly and simultaneously couple mapping, planning and reactive components in dealing with negative obstacles. The system was deployed on three heterogeneous ground robots for the DARPA Subterranean Challenge, and we present results in Urban and Cave environments, along with simulated scenarios, that demonstrate this approach.
Authors: Thomas Hines, Kazys Stepanas, Fletcher Talbot, Inkyu Sa, Jake Lewis, Emili Hernandez, Navinda Kottege, Nicolas Hudson (CSIRO)