DLR-Logo -> http://www.dlr.de
DLR Portal Home | Imprint | Privacy Policy | Contact | Deutsch
Fontsize: [-] Text [+]

Towards Autonomous Planetary Exploration: The Lightweight Rover Unit (LRU), its Success in the SpaceBotCamp Challenge, and Beyond

Schuster, Martin J. and Brunner, Sebastian Georg and Bussmann, Kristin and Büttner, Stefan and Dömel, Andreas and Hellerer, Matthias and Lehner, Hannah and Lehner, Peter and Porges, Oliver and Reill, Josef and Riedel, Sebastian and Vayugundla, Mallikarjuna and Vodermayer, Bernhard and Bodenmüller, Tim and Brand, Christoph and Friedl, Werner and Grixa, Iris Lynne and Hirschmüller, Heiko and Kassecker, Michael and Marton, Zoltan-Csaba and Nissler, Christian and Felix, Ruess and Suppa, Michael and Wedler, Armin (2017) Towards Autonomous Planetary Exploration: The Lightweight Rover Unit (LRU), its Success in the SpaceBotCamp Challenge, and Beyond. Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems. Springer. doi: 10.1007/s10846-017-0680-9. ISSN 0921-0296.

[img] PDF

Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10846-017-0680-9


Planetary exploration poses many challenges for a robot system: From weight and size constraints to extraterrestrial environment conditions, which constrain the suitable sensors and actuators. As the distance to other planets introduces a significant communication delay, the efficient operation of a robot system requires a high level of autonomy. In this work, we present our Lightweight Rover Unit (LRU), a small and agile rover prototype that we designed for the challenges of planetary exploration. Its locomotion system with individually steered wheels allows for high maneuverability in rough terrain and stereo cameras as its main sensors ensure the applicability to space missions. We implemented software components for self-localization in GPS-denied environments, autonomous exploration and mapping as well as computer vision, planning and control modules for the autonomous localization, pickup and assembly of objects with its manipulator. Additional high-level mission control components facilitate both autonomous behavior and remote monitoring of the system state over a delayed communication link. We successfully demonstrated the autonomous capabilities of our LRU at the SpaceBotCamp challenge, a national robotics contest with focus on autonomous planetary exploration. A robot had to autonomously explore an unknown Moon-like rough terrain, locate and collect two objects and assemble them after transport to a third object - which the LRU did on its first try, in half of the time and fully autonomously. The next milestone for our ongoing LRU development is an upcoming planetary exploration analogue mission to perform scientific experiments at a Moon analogue site located on a volcano.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/116749/
Document Type:Article
Additional Information:Video available at https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10846-017-0680-9 and at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCTkSxcna8o -- Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Title:Towards Autonomous Planetary Exploration: The Lightweight Rover Unit (LRU), its Success in the SpaceBotCamp Challenge, and Beyond
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Schuster, Martin J.UNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6983-3719UNSPECIFIED
Brunner, Sebastian GeorgUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9359-3703UNSPECIFIED
Dömel, AndreasUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3694-5201UNSPECIFIED
Lehner, HannahUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5377-4155UNSPECIFIED
Lehner, PeterUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3755-1186UNSPECIFIED
Porges, OliverUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2625-2364UNSPECIFIED
Reill, JosefUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4092-063XUNSPECIFIED
Riedel, SebastianUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3655-2486UNSPECIFIED
Vayugundla, MallikarjunaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9277-0461UNSPECIFIED
Bodenmüller, TimUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-0899-361XUNSPECIFIED
Brand, ChristophUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5577-5952UNSPECIFIED
Friedl, WernerUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3002-7274UNSPECIFIED
Marton, Zoltan-CsabaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3035-493XUNSPECIFIED
Nissler, ChristianUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4361-9041UNSPECIFIED
Wedler, ArminUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8641-0163UNSPECIFIED
Date:7 November 2017
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Keywords:autonomous mobile robots; planetary exploration; robotic challenge; localization; navigation; exploration; mapping; SLAM; object detection; object pose estimation; manipulation; robot control; autonomous task execution; robotic system; robot locomotion; power distribution; robot simulation
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space System Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Space System Technology
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project MOREX [SY]
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics (since 2013) > Perception and Cognition
Institute of System Dynamics and Control > Space System Dynamics
Deposited By: Schuster, Martin
Deposited On:08 Dec 2017 16:43
Last Modified:02 Nov 2023 13:13

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Help & Contact
electronic library is running on EPrints 3.3.12
Website and database design: Copyright © German Aerospace Center (DLR). All rights reserved.