The robot Unimog U5023 is a Mercedes Benz Special Trucks vehicle with high-level terrain mobility and many possible utilization areas. It is characterized by extreme off-road capability and features like differential locks, a central tire inflation system, a high number of gears, frame torsion, centerline torsion, and portal axle. Therefore, the applied research benefits from its ability to access rough terrain not included in the previous research programs. Accordingly, a research focus is on developing robust and secure commercial vehicles' navigation solutions in rough and unstructured terrain. Compared to on-road applications, off-road navigation is still an unsolved research problem with high technical barriers. Nevertheless, the legal regulations for autonomous commercial vehicles in unstructured terrain are typically less strict, and concepts commercialize more easily.
The Unimog's central research topics are the progress of robust perception systems, novel navigation methodologies in challenging environments, and the deployment of autonomous tooling in harsh or at least complex environments. Consequently, the vehicle's perception provides, for instance, detailed information about object detections, classifications, scene context, the evaluation of passages, plus obstacles. On top of that, there are biologically motivated methods for localization and general quality assessment of the sensor system. Especially in unstructured environments, a robot system is often influenced and disturbed by noisy and faulty sensor measurements.
Therefore, project partners and lab members extended a standard Unimog 5023 for autonomous deployment, including a new steering and braking system, computing capabilities, and sensor systems. Furthermore, a complex simulation of the Unimog was built, including all the vehicle's extras and characteristics. On account of this, it is possible to simulate risky maneuvers in heavy terrain before testing them in real life.
- Advanced Scene Aware Navigation for the Heavy Duty Off-Road Vehicle Unimog.
Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Advanced Concepts in Mechanical Engineering (ACME2020), (2020)
- Autonome Off-Road Navigation von Nutzfahrzeugen. Erfahrungsbericht und Testergebnisse des CVC-Leitprojekts zum autonomen Fahrbetrieb von Nutzfahrzeugen im Off-Road-Bereich.
CVC News, Vol. 1, S. 4 - 10. (2020)
- Autonomous Off-Road Navigation using Near-Feature-Based World Knowledge Incorporation on the Example of Forest Path Detection.
Preprint submitted to Robotics and Autonomous Systems, (2020)
- Behavior-Based Control for Safe and Robust Navigation of an Unimog in Off-Road Environments.
Commercial Vehicle Technology 2018. Proceedings of the 5th Commercial Vehicle Technology Symposium – CVT 2018, S. 63 - 76. (2018)
- Behavior-Based Low-Level Control for (semi-) Autonomous Vehicles in Rough Terrain.
Proceedings of ISR 2018, S. 386 - 393. (2018)
- Local Behavior-Based Navigation in Rough Off-Road Scenarios based on Vehicle Kinematics.
2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), S. 719 - 724. (2018)
- Modelling and Simulation of Behaviour-Based Differential and Slippage Control for Unimog.
- Multi Feature Maps for Autonomous Off-Road Navigation in Rough Environments.
- Ontologies for Situation-Aware, Autonomous Navigation in Challenging Off-Road Environments.
- Autonomie in unwegsamem Gelände. Aktuelle Zwischenergebnisse des CVC-Leitprojekts zum autonomen Fahrbetrieb von Nutzfahrzeugen im Off-Road Bereich.
CVC News, Vol. 2, S. 8 - 11. (2017)
- Behavior-Based Gear Control for Rough Off-Road Environments.
- Behavior-Based Navigation for Stuck Vehicles in Rough Off-Road Environments.
- Geländerekonstruktion basierend auf 3D-Punktwolken.
- Navigation in Unstructured Environments for the Cross Country Vehicle "Unimog".