The objective of ATHENA is to develop a remotely operated semi-autonomous vehicle for use in an unstructured environment. The work will focus on an earthworking vehicle for sanitary landfill, which poses the additional problem that the environment is reshaped by the action of the vehicle.
The approach will be to build a remote guidance system into an existing vehicle to include:
- a hierarchical control architecture incorporating both behavioural and functional concepts
- minimal sensor enhancement
- data fusion from multiple sensors to obtain robust scene understanding
- model-based navigation supported by sensor input, selected from odometers, gyroscopes, global positioning devices, beacons and vision systems
- a person/machine interface.
Each component of the guidance system will be integrated into the demonstration vehicle and tested at a landfill site provided by an industrial partner. This process will culminate in a demonstration of the full system.
The results will be applicable to, for example, mining, tunnelling and road construction, as well as landfill, and will be incorporated in products marketed by industrial members of the consortium.
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