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ARDEA — An MAV with skills for future planetary missions

Lutz, Philipp and Müller, Marcus Gerhard and Maier, Moritz and Stoneman, Samantha and Tomic, Teodor and von Bargen, Ingo and Schuster, Martin J. and Steidle, Florian and Wedler, Armin and Stürzl, Wolfgang and Triebel, Rudolph (2019) ARDEA — An MAV with skills for future planetary missions. Journal of Field Robotics. Wiley. doi: 10.1002/rob.21949. ISSN 1556-4959.

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Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/rob.21949


We introduce a prototype flying platform for planetary exploration: autonomous robot design for extraterrestrial applications (ARDEA). Communication with unmanned missions beyond Earth orbit suffers from time delay, thus a key criterion for robotic exploration is a robot's ability to perform tasks without human intervention. For autonomous operation, all computations should be done on‐board and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) should not be relied on for navigation purposes. Given these objectives ARDEA is equipped with two pairs of wide‐angle stereo cameras and an inertial measurement unit (IMU) for robust visual‐inertial navigation and time‐efficient, omni‐directional 3D mapping. The four cameras cover a 240∘ vertical field of view, enabling the system to operate in confined environments such as caves formed by lava tubes. The captured images are split into several pinhole cameras, which are used for simultaneously running visual odometries. The stereo output is used for simultaneous localization and mapping, 3D map generation and collision‐free motion planning. To operate the vehicle efficiently for a variety of missions, ARDEA's capabilities have been modularized into skills which can be assembled to fulfill a mission's objectives. These skills are defined generically so that they are independent of the robot configuration, making the approach suitable for different heterogeneous robotic teams. The diverse skill set also makes the micro aerial vehicle (MAV) useful for any task where autonomous exploration is needed. For example terrestrial search and rescue missions where visual navigation in GNSS‐denied indoor environments is crucial, such as partially collapsed man‐made structures like buildings or tunnels. We have demonstrated the robustness of our system in indoor and outdoor field tests.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/143051/
Document Type:Article
Title:ARDEA — An MAV with skills for future planetary missions
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Lutz, PhilippUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4552-8509UNSPECIFIED
Maier, MoritzUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3447-7611UNSPECIFIED
Stoneman, SamanthaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3581-4330UNSPECIFIED
Schuster, Martin J.UNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6983-3719UNSPECIFIED
Steidle, FlorianUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6935-9810UNSPECIFIED
Wedler, ArminUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8641-0163UNSPECIFIED
Triebel, RudolphUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-7975-036XUNSPECIFIED
Date:15 May 2019
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Field Robotics
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Keywords:aerial robotics computer vision exploration GPS-denied operation planetary robotics
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], R - Robotic Science Explorer
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics (since 2013) > Perception and Cognition
Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics (since 2013)
Deposited By: Durner, Maximilian
Deposited On:26 Jul 2021 16:11
Last Modified:27 Jun 2023 13:31

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