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Navigating a Mobile Robot by a Traversability Field Histogram

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1 Author(s)
Cang Ye ; Dept. of Appl. Sci., Arkansas Univ., Little Rock, AR

This paper presents an autonomous terrain navigation system for a mobile robot. The system employs a two-dimensional laser range finder (LRF) for terrain mapping. A so-called "traversability field histogram" (TFH) method is proposed to guide the robot. The TFH method first transforms a local terrain map surrounding the robot's momentary position into a traversability map by extracting the slope and roughness of a terrain patch through least-squares plane fitting. It then computes a so-called "polar traversability index" (PTI) that represents the overall difficulty of traveling along the corresponding direction. The PTIs are represented in a form of histogram. Based on this histogram, the velocity and steering commands of the robot are determined. The concept of a virtual valley and an exit condition are proposed and used to direct the robot such that it can reach the target with a finite-length path. The algorithm is verified by simulation and experimental results

Published in:

Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

April 2007

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