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Fall 2013 GRASP Seminar: Byron Stanley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Lincoln Labs, “Enabling Robust AGV Localization in Adverse Conditions”

December 6, 2013 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Abstract: Few, if any, autonomous ground vehicles (AGVs) navigate successfully in adverse conditions, such as snow or GPS denied areas. A fundamental limitation is that they are using optical sensors, such as LIDAR or imagers, to fuse with GPS/INS solutions to localize themselves. When the optical surfaces become distorted or obscured, such as with snow, dust, or heavy rain, there is no robust way to localize the vehicle to the required accuracy. GPS/INS solutions, which are in themselves insufficient to maintain a vehicle within a lane for extended time periods, also fail around significant RF noise or jamming, tall buildings, trees, and other blocking or multipath scenarios.
This talk presents a new MIT Lincoln Laboratory developed mode of vehicle localization that has low sensitivity to the failure modes of LIDAR, camera, and GPS/INS sensors. We have demonstrated that a uniquely designed Localizing Ground Penetrating Radar (LGPR) array can map the relatively static area below the road surface and use that map as a reference, in previously mapped areas, to localize an autonomous vehicle at over 60Hz to an accuracy of approximately 2 cm rms. Implications for robust autonomous ground vehicle localization and utility to other industries will be discussed.


Byron Stanley, co-inventor of the GPR Localization technology, has led the development of the autonomous systems component of the world’s first autonomous vehicle to be guided via GPR localization. Byron Stanley has served as the Principal Investigator for several autonomous ground vehicle programs at MIT Lincoln Laboratory including indoor mapping and outdoor navigation. He has been developing robotics and control systems for ground,
maritime, and airborne applications as a full Technical Staff Member in the Control Systems Engineering group for the last 13 years at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and received the Engineering Division early career award in 2011. Byron Stanley received SM and SB degrees in 2001 and 1999 respectively at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in mechanical engineering, where his contributions included a hardware-in-the-loop simulation for an autonomous air-drop system as a Draper Fellow and development of a touch sensitive chest and a series-elastic actuated hand for COG at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

This work is sponsored by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering under Air Force Contract #FA8721‐05‐C‐0002. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States Government.


December 6, 2013
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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