Lunar Rover Integration, Testing, and Data Retrieval

Fall 2010

Student
James Lee
Advisor
Red Whittaker
Project description

Robots destined for the field require extensive prototyping and testing in analogous terrain. One destined for a multi-day, long-distance trek on the moon must first demonstrate similar capability at a sister site on earth. As such, a full systems test from post-landing egress to nighttime hibernation and revival will be undertaken in December with a pre-flight prototype. To achieve this the prototype rover's hardware and software components must communicate with each other reliably, relaying critical sensory and command information to the various subsystems onboard. This project will use IPC to provide the underlying communications framework joining the software subsystems being developed separately in preparation for the end of semester field test.

The rover must also collect scientific data and media imagery along its journey. This research will extract 3D structure from stereo imagery sequences to generate dense 3D maps that can be used to study the environment around the rover. It will do this by extending a vision-based solution for estimating pose by aligning dense point clouds generated using global correspondence algorithms.

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