UNIVERSITY OF COSTA RICA EXPLORES AEROSPACE RESEARCH WITH CLEARPATH ROBOTICS' PLATFORM

Novel Mars navigation algorithm is being validated on Husky A200

(Kitchener, ON, Canada - Oct 11, 2013) Dr. Geovanni Martinez from the University of Costa Rica has developed a novel visual odometer algorithm for accurate and more efficient tracking of Mars rover navigation. Dr. Martinez is utilizing Clear path Robotics' Husky to test and validate the algorithm that uses one-stage maximum-likelihood estimation, rather than traditional two-stage algorithms.


"It's fantastic to witness breakthrough research of this nature, and to know that it is being validated and furthered because of our mobile robotic platform," said Matt Rendall, Chief Executive Officer at Clearpath Robotics.

Dr. Martinez' team is creating a real time image acquisition system consisting of three IEEE-1394 cameras. The system is being developed under Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS, ROS Fuerte and the programing language C". The image acquisition system corrects, in real time, the radial and tangential distortions due to the camera lens. With regard to the hardware, Dr. Martinez commented, "We like Husky A200 because the software for image acquisition, and driving the robot, was easy to implement using ROS. It saved us a lot of development time. Additionally, it is strong enough to be driven in extreme environments."

Using the algorithm, the rover's motion will be estimated by maximizing the conditional probability of the frame to frame intensity differences at the observation points. The conditional probability is computed by expanding the intensity signal by a Taylor series and neglecting the nonlinear terms. This results in the well-known optical flow constraint, as well as using a linearized 3D observation point position transformation, which transforms the 3D position of an observation point before motion into its 3D position after motion given the rover's motion parameters. Perspective projection of the observation points into the image plane and zero-mean Gaussian stochastic intensity errors at the observation points are also assumed.

About Clearpath Robotics

Clearpath Robotics, a global leader in unmanned vehicle robotics for research and development, is dedicated to automating the world's dullest, dirtiest, and deadliest jobs. The Company serves leading researchers in over 30 countries worldwide in academic, corporate and military environments. Recognizing the value of future innovation, Clearpath Robotics established PartnerBot, a grant program to support university robotics research teams, internationally. Clearpath Robotics provides robust solutions that are engineered for performance, designed for customization, and built for open source. Visit Clearpath Robotics at www.clearpathrobotics.com, follow us on Twitter @clearpathrobots or like us on Facebook

Featured Product

Honeywell Intelligrated - Solve Loading Dock Challenges With Robotic Unloading

Honeywell Intelligrated - Solve Loading Dock Challenges With Robotic Unloading

Challenges on the loading dock are characteristic of greater pressures from the rise of e-commerce. Loading and unloading freight from trailers, trucks and shipping containers are arduous, repetitive tasks plagued by high turnover. Even with regularly available staff, manually unloading freight and the constant lifting and twisting results in fatigue and inconsistent, declining productivity. Robotics capable of fully automating unloading tasks bring a new paradigm to the dock. High performance and flexibility push unloading from a labor-heavy, manual chore to an automated, refined process. High-performing DC workers can take more desirable positions, with relief from unpleasant work conditions. Management gets to replace uncertainty and staffing challenges with a reliable, automated process, with data to fuel continuous improvement.