Navigation solution for the Texas A&M autonomous ground vehicle
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The need addressed in this thesis is to provide an Autonomous Ground Vehicle (AGV) with accurate information regarding its position, velocity, and orientation. The system chosen to meet these needs incorporates (1) a differential Global Positioning System, (2) an Inertial Measurement Unit consisting of accelerometers and angular-rate sensors, and (3) a Kalman Filter (KF) to fuse the sensor data. The obstacle avoidance software requires position and orientation to build a global map of obstacles based on the returns of a scanning laser rangefinder. The path control software requires position and velocity. The development of the KF is the major contribution of this thesis. This technology can either be purchased or developed, and, for educational and financial reasons, it was decided to develop instead of purchasing the KF software. This thesis analyzes three different cases of navigation: one-dimensional, two dimensional and three-dimensional (general). Each becomes more complex, and separating them allows a three step progression to reach the general motion solution. Three tests were conducted at the Texas A&M University Riverside campus that demonstrated the accuracy of the solution. Starting from a designated origin, the AGV traveled along the runway and then returned to the same origin within 11 cm along the North axis, 19 cm along the East axis and 8 cm along the Down axis. Also, the vehicle traveled along runway 35R which runs North-South within 0.1ÃÂ°, with the yaw solution consistently within 1ÃÂ° of North or South. The final test was mapping a box onto the origin of the global map, which requires accurate linear and angular position estimates and a correct mapping transformation.
Odom, Craig Allen (2006). Navigation solution for the Texas A&M autonomous ground vehicle. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from