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A Method For Integrating Vision And Laser Range Measurements In Autonomous Ground Robotic Vehicles

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Capstone & Educational Resource Developments

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.52.1 - 10.52.11



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Paper Authors

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Robert Riggins

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Bruce Mutter

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Method for Integrating Vision and Laser Range Measurements in Autonomous Ground Robotic Vehicles Bluefield State College Center for Applied Research and Technology

Robert N. Riggins, Bruce V. Mutter

1. Abstract

A typical Autonomous Ground Robotic Vehicle (AGRV) uses a combination of sensors to monitor movements and the surrounding environment. Placing multiple sensors on an AGRV may allow for complexity in sensor data, but far more important is integration of the information from these multiple sensors to perform a given task optimally. One popular choice of sensors includes a Laser Measurement System (LMS) and a vision system. Good examples of robots using LMS and vision are vehicles entering the annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) and competing in the 2005 Grand Challenge sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This paper focuses on one method of integrating non-stereoscopic vision (camcorder) information with laser distance measurements. First, background information on one such AGRV mechanical structure and a sensor suite is provided. This platform allows testing of algorithms using real hardware. The paper also explains the AGRV processes and image management. The core presentation concerns the method used for integrating LMS with vision. Once integrated, LMS and vision act as one set of data with one format, yet the method exploits all the information available from both. Finally, the paper illustrates one way to use this processed information for finding paths through a field of obstacles and road edges.


The Center for Applied Research and Technology (CART) at Bluefield State College designed and built an AGRV the students called “V2”. Being a little larger than an electric wheelchair and weighing slightly less than 300 pounds, the vehicle has a control system that gives the robot superb maneuverability. A full suite of sensors allow the robot to sense many aspects about its environment. The particular sensor suite for the AGRV allows algorithms to mimic human decision making. Therefore, our vehicle provides an excellent platform for studying various autonomous algorithms such as the ones presented in this paper. This section will present the hardware design of for the vehicle in three parts: the mechanical system, the electrical system, and other design concerns.

2.1 Mechanical System The overall mechanical design focuses on simplicity, durability, compactness, maintainability, and most importantly, safety. The vehicle is designed to operate and navigate safely in both indoor and outdoor environments. This small and versatile design provides the opportunity to test and develop the human-like system on a fully functional platform. The mechanical design can be divided into three separate categories:

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society of Engineering Education

Riggins, R., & Mutter, B. (2005, June), A Method For Integrating Vision And Laser Range Measurements In Autonomous Ground Robotic Vehicles Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14931

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