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Open AccessArticle

Online Aerial Terrain Mapping for Ground Robot Navigation

Virginia Tech Unmanned Systems Laboratory, Blacksburg, VA 24060, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2018, 18(2), 630;
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 31 January 2018 / Accepted: 11 February 2018 / Published: 20 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV or Drones for Remote Sensing Applications)
This work presents a collaborative unmanned aerial and ground vehicle system which utilizes the aerial vehicle’s overhead view to inform the ground vehicle’s path planning in real time. The aerial vehicle acquires imagery which is assembled into a orthomosaic and then classified. These terrain classes are used to estimate relative navigation costs for the ground vehicle so energy-efficient paths may be generated and then executed. The two vehicles are registered in a common coordinate frame using a real-time kinematic global positioning system (RTK GPS) and all image processing is performed onboard the unmanned aerial vehicle, which minimizes the data exchanged between the vehicles. This paper describes the architecture of the system and quantifies the registration errors between the vehicles. View Full-Text
Keywords: unmanned aircraft; air–ground cooperation; multi-robot coordination unmanned aircraft; air–ground cooperation; multi-robot coordination
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Peterson, J.; Chaudhry, H.; Abdelatty, K.; Bird, J.; Kochersberger, K. Online Aerial Terrain Mapping for Ground Robot Navigation. Sensors 2018, 18, 630.

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