Transportable Manned and Robotic DGM Tow Vehicle




The GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Lab at Auburn University is currently working on integrating an innovative robotic tow vehicle with industry standard Digital Geophysical Mapping (DGN) sensors and advanced geo-location positioning equipment to autonomously map target demonstration areas. These sensors are currently being towed by humans. Replacing the human with a robotic tow vehicle will greatly improve the accuracy and repeatability of the sensor runs. The initial phase will focus on integrating the tow vehicle with various sensors to provide path following to precisely sweep an area with multiple sensors using multiple runs. The tow vehicle for the project is the Segway Robotic Mobility Platform (RMP). In the initial phase, sub-centimeter accuracy positioning will be provided by an ArcSecond Laser “Indoor GPS” system, and operation will be confined to a small area. In the second phase, the accuracy requirements will be loosened and a GPS/IMU combination will be used for positioning. Control will be provided by an onboard laptop (standard military Panasonic Toughbook). Monitoring of the system as well as teleoperation will be provided by a second, remotely connected laptop (using an 802.11g network). An onboard camera with remote pan and tilt functionality and a standard PC joystick will be used for teleoperation. A LIDAR or vision system will be added in the second phase to provide obstacle detection and avoidance.

Figure 1:


Segway RMP 400

Figure 2:


Segway HT with Tow Vehicle