Safe Navigation on Hazardous Terrain
Howard, Ayanna M.
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This paper presents a new strategy for autonomous navigation of field mobile robots on hazardous natural terrain using a fuzzy logic approach and a measure of terrain traversability. The navigation strategy comprises three simple, independent behaviors: seek-goal, traverse-terrain, and avoid-obstacle. The recommendations from these three behaviors are combined through appropriate weighting factors to generate the final steering and speed commands that are executed by the robot. The weighting factors are produced by fuzzy logic rules that take into account the current status of the robot. This navigation strategy requires no a priori information about the environment, and uses the on-board traversability analysis to enable the robot to select relatively easy-to-traverse paths autonomously. Field test results obtained from implementation of the proposed algorithms on the commercial Pioneer All Terrain rover are presented. These results demonstrate the real-time capabilities of the terrain assessment and fuzzy logic navigation algorithms.