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Behavior control for robotic exploration of planetary surfaces

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5 Author(s)
E. Gat ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; R. Desai ; R. Ivlev ; J. Loch
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This paper describes a series of robots developed at JPL to demonstrate the feasibility of using a behavior-control approach to control small robots on planetary surfaces. The round-trip light-time delay makes direct teleoperation of a mobile robot on a planetary surface impossible. Planetary rovers must therefore possess a certain degree of autonomy. However, small robots can only support small computers (due mostly to power, not size constraints). Behavior control provides a means of autonomous control that requires very little computation. The robots described in this paper all used 8-bit, 1-MIP microprocessors with as little as 4 k and no more than 40 k of memory, and extremely simple sensors. Despite these limitations they reliably perform both autonomous navigation and manipulation in both indoor and outdoor rough-terrain environments

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 4 )