By: J. Ricardo Sánchez Ibañez & Carlos J. Pérez-del-Pulgar
ARES: Autonomous Routing on Extreme Surfaces
Autonomy in planetary exploration is nowadays in the spotlight since space agencies are preparing different missions to place rovers in other planets and satellites. Although autonomy has been widely researched for terrestrial applications, it remains to be fully adapted to rovers. To solve this issue, the space robotics team from the University of Málaga arises as a spin-off within the Systems Engineering and Automation research group, which has demonstrated experience in field robotics and manipulation. Recent activities, in collaboration with ESA, have supported the development of a novel path planning method adapted to planetary exploration. Its main particularity is the use of a multi-resolution grid made up of two layers that take advantage of rover locomotion modes and information obtained from different sources. The global layer, which uses information from satellites such as Digital Elevation Maps, is used to plan the optimal path to reach a goal position, taking into consideration terrain features. The planned path is later corrected by the local layer, using the rover perception system, with the aim of avoiding obstacles. Several simulations and experiments have been carried out with a real prototype rover, obtaining promising results.A 1.03
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