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Automatic Mountain Detection and Pose Estimation for Teleoperation of Lunar Rovers

Fabio Cozman Eric Krotkov
Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA, 15213
{ fgcozman, epk }


This paper presents a system aimed at mobile robot operations in space: we discuss an interface which receives and analyzes images sent by a rover operating in a distant environment. We are particularly interested in long-duration space missions, where rovers interact with human operators on Earth. The position estimates are presented to the operator so as to increase situational awareness and prevent loss of orientation. The system detects mountains in images and automatically searches for mountain peaks in a given topographic map. We introduce our mountain detector algorithm and present a large number of illustrative results from images collected on Earth and on the Moon (by the Apollo 17 mission). We present an algorithm for position estimation which uses statistical descriptions of measurements to produce estimates, and discuss results for the Pittsburgh East and Dromedary Peak areas. The implemented system achieves better estimation performance than any competing method due to our quantitative approach and better time performance due to our pre-compilation of relevant data.

© Fabio Cozman[Send Mail?]

Tue Jun 24 00:46:56 EDT 1997