A Supervised Autonomous Security Response Robot
SPACE AND NAVAL WARFARE SYSTEMS CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Autonomous mobile robots typically require a preconceived and very detailed navigational model map of their intended operating environment, but most law enforcement and urban warfare response scenarios preclude the availability of such a priori information. ROBART III is an advanced demonstration platform for non-lethal robotic response measures, incorporating a supervised autonomous navigation system specifically configured to support minimally attended operation in previously unexplored interior structures. A human-centered mapping strategy has been developed to ensure valid first-time interpretation of navigational landmarks as the robot builds its world model. The accuracy of the robots real-time position estimation and hence the model itself is significantly enhanced by an innovative algorithm which exploits a heuristic that assumes the majority of man-made structures are characterized by parallel and orthogonal walls. Intruder detection and assessment capabilities are supported by intelligent fusion of data collected by a multitude of various sensors. Initial detection is by a 360-degree array of eight passive-infrared motion detectors responding to the thermal energy gradient created by a moving human target, with partial validation from a Doppler microwave motion detector. The robots head-mounted sensors and non-lethal weapon system are then panned to the center of any perceived disturbance for further assessment. Automatic tracking of any confirmed movement is accomplished through conventional image processing using a black-and-white video surveillance camera equipped with a near-infrared illuminator for low-light conditions.