This paper presents the concept of teaming up snake-robots, as unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for autonomous navigation and obstacle avoidance. Snake robots navigate in cluttered environments based on visual servoing of a co-robot UAV. It is assumed that snake-robots do not have any means to map the surrounding environment, detect obstacles, or self-localize, and these tasks are allocated to the UAV, which uses visual sensors to track the UGVs. The obtained images were used for the geo-localization and mapping the environment. Computer vision methods were utilized for the detection of obstacles, finding obstacle clusters, and then, mapping based on Probabilistic Threat Exposure Map (PTEM) construction. A path planner module determines the heading direction and velocity of the snake robot. A combined heading-velocity controller was used for the snake robot to follow the desired trajectories using the lateral undulatory gait. A series of simulations were carried out for analyzing the snake-robot’s maneuverability and proof-of-concept by navigating the snake robot in an environment with two obstacles based on the UAV visual servoing. The results showed the feasibility of the concept and effectiveness of the integrated system for navigation.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.