Rover (AER) + Rover VR (VRI)Participants: Maxime Ransan (AER), Catharine McGhan (AER, VRI), Carl von Buelow (VRI), Joshua DelCastillo (VRI)
Project Affialiate and Sponsor: Dr. Ella Atkins
The purpose of the rover project -- the Autonomous Exploration Rover, or AER -- is to investigate autonomous planning/scheduling for human-robot exploration teams. Maxime Ransan assembled and subsequently wrote all of the main software infrastructure for the rover system, and then did testing using multiple agents under various scenarios for his Masters thesis (at the University of Maryland). Catharine McGhan later worked on the rover, supervising a high-school student (Jason Quint) who used the rover system as a research platform for a project over the summer (through the Intel Science Talent Search program, summer 2007); later, she also supervised the design and construction of an improved electronics board for servo control on the rover (see the UROP MichiganMan project.
The purpose of the rover virtual reality (VR) software project -- the Virtual Rover Interface, or VRI -- is to create a more complex tool/interface for controlling a rover (physical or virtual, in real-time) while having it react with other (virtual) rovers and obstacles in a simulated environment. This could be later expanded to a full virtual physics simulator of the environment and all the agents within it, allowing a planning/scheduling algorithm to call a more-advanced environmental model under various scenarios when determining how to most optimally command the rover. This project was originally instigated by Catharine McGhan, Carl von Buelow, and Joshua DelCastillo as a class project (ENGR477), but Catharine McGhan continued to work on the VRI after the fact, and later presented a conference paper on the preliminary work.Publications/References
C. McGhan and E. Atkins, "A Virtual Rover Interface for Collaborative Human-Robot Exploration Teams," Proc. Infotech@Aerospace Conference, AIAA, Rohnert Park, CA, May 2007.
M. Ransan and E. Atkins, "Human-Robot Team Task Scheduling for Planetary Surface Missions," Proc. Infotech@Aerospace Conference, AIAA, Rohnert Park, CA, May 2007.
Autonomous Exploration Rover:
Virtual Rover Interface:
The class website for ENGR477 (Fall 2006) is located at http://www.engin.umich.edu/class/eng477/projectsf06/.
The VRI project final webpage for the ENGR477 class is located at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~cmcghan/eng477_f06/rover_main.html.