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Techniques and Algorithms for Autonomous Vehicles in Forest Environment

by Ringdahl, Ola

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis describes an ongoing project of which the purpose is designing and developing techniques and algorithms for autonomous off-road vehicles. The focus is on some of the components necessary to accomplish autonomous navigation, which involves sensing and moving safely along a user-defined path in a dynamic forest environment. The work is part of a long-term vision in the forest industry of developing an unmanned shuttle that transports timber from the felling area to the main roads for further transportation. A new path-tracking algorithm is introduced and demonstrated as superior to standard algorithms, such as Follow the Carrot and Pure Pursuit. This is accomplished by using recorded data from a path-learning phase. By using the recorded steering angle, the curvature of the path is automatically included in the final steering command. Localization is accomplished by a neural network that fuses data from a Real-Time Kinematic Differential GPS/GLONASS, a gyro, and wheel odometry. Test results are presented for path tracking and localization accuracy from runs conducted on a full-sized forest machine. A large part of the work has been design and implementation of a general software platform for research in autonomous vehicles. The developed algorithms and software have been implemented and tested on a full-size forest machine supplied by our industrial partner Komatsu Forest AB. Results from successful field tests with autonomous path tracking, including obstacle avoidance, are presented.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Umeå universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:TECHNOLOGY; Information technology; Computer science; Autonomous navigation; Robotics; Obstacle avoidance

ISBN:978-91-7264-373-4

Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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