Robotics Graduate Student Seminars
Planning for Autonomous Operations of Unmanned Surface Vehicles (Unmanned Boats)
PhD candidate, Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Prof. Satyandra K. Gupta
The growing variety and complexity of marine research and application-oriented tasks requires unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) to operate autonomously over long time horizons even in environments with significant civilian traffic. The autonomous operations of the USV over long time horizons requires a path planner to compute paths over long distances in complex marine environments consisting of hundreds of islands of complex shapes. The available free space in marine environment changes over time as a result of tides, environmental restrictions, and weather. Secondly, the maximum velocity and energy consumption of the USV is significantly influenced by the fluid medium flows such as strong currents. Finally, the USV have to operate in an unfamiliar, unstructured marine environment with obstacles of variable dimensions, shapes, and motion dynamics such as other unmanned surface vehicles, civilian boats, shorelines, or docks poses numerous planning challenges. The talk will highlight some of the developed path and trajectory planning algorithms that enables the long-term autonomous operation of the USVs. We have developed a lattice-based 5D trajectory planner for the USVs operating in the environment with the congested civilian traffic. The planner estimates collision risk and reasons about the availability of contingency maneuvers to counteract unpredictable behaviors of civilian vessels. Secondly, we present a computationally efficient and optimal algorithm for long distance path planning in complex marine environments using A* search on visibility graphs defined over quad trees. Finally, we present an A* based path planning algorithm with newly developed admissible heuristics for computing energy efficient paths in environment with significant fluid flows. The effectiveness of the planning algorithms is demonstrated in the simulation environments by using systems identified dynamics model of the wave amplitude modular vessel (WAM-V) USV14.
About the Robotics Graduate Student Seminars
The Robotics Graduate Student Seminars at the University of Maryland College Park are a student-run series of talks given by current graduate students.
The purpose of these talks is to:
- Encourage interaction between Robotics students from different subfields;
- Provide an opportunity for Robotics students to be aware of and possibly get involved in the research their peers are conducting;
- Provide an opportunity for Robotics students to receive feedback on their current research;
- Provide speaking opportunities for Robotics students.