Stephen Buerger - Toward Dynamic, Tactical, Remote Robotic Ops: Active Perception and Other Key Technologies
From Kathryn Gentilello on November 21st, 2019
Dynamic, tactical, remote operations in which unmanned systems must manage multiple, changing objectives in uncertain, evolving and potentially adversarial environments, without the benefit of prior scripting, present an extreme challenge that necessitates high levels of autonomy and physical capability. While robots’ ability to geometrically map and autonomously navigate environments is relatively mature, to achieve higher-level operational goals requires the further technical leap of abstractly, or semantically, understanding surroundings. As biological systems have learned, efficient abstract perception requires not only that observations be intelligently processed over time, but also that sensors be actively controlled to acquire the best knowledge that minimizes uncertainties. The challenges and results of several ongoing projects in “active perception” will be discussed. These include work in which interior environments are rapidly mapped with both geometric and semantic information, as well as work in which threats are detected, localized, distinguished from false alarms, and identified via autonomous sensor control and real-time object classification. The talk will also describe R&D underway at Sandia in other technology areas essential to dynamic, remote operations, including novel robotic mobility systems capable of providing the obstacle traversal and energy efficiency needed for challenging real-world operations, novel robotic manipulation approaches, and real-time control applications for specific effectors including rock-drilling systems.