CDS Lecture Series


George Kantor
Robotics Institute
Center for the Foundations of Robotics
Field Robotics Center
Carnegie Mellon University

Control and Navigation for Autonomous Exploration of Flooded Caverns DEPTHX is a hovering autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that will be used to explore, map, and look for life in the depths of the Zacaton Cenote, a flooded limestone cavern that is known to be at least 300 meters deep. This talk will begin with a brief overview of the Zacaton environment, the scientific mission objectives, and the vehicle design. Once the context has been established, the focus will be shifted to technical issues related to the core capabilities of control and localization of the DEPTHX vehicle. Control algorithms for open water velocity tracking, wall following, and near-wall hovering will be discussed and simulation results will be presented. An algorithm for localization and mapping based on a Rao-Blackwellized particle filter with 3D occupancy grid maps will be outlined, with results presented both in simulation and using data gathered during a preliminary expedition to Zacaton. The talk will conclude with a brief sketch the algorithms required for the necessary higher level behaviors such as path planning and exploration.

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