First long drive of the bot

December 8, 2008
Dec 7
The bot drove to West-Lobe Bonney glacier ablation stake. The primary objective was to exercise and test the full navigation capabilities, and get the procedure down for performing missions and collecting data. The stake was expected to be about 390 m from the melt-hole. We did not find the stake but saw the object below (that was put in by Peter and Maciej for reference) in the images taken by the forward looking camera. We also got some great images of the under-side of ice.
Image of the stake taken by the forward-looking camera.

Image taken by the forward-looking camera.

The bot navigated successfully back to the melthole using dead-reckoning and then used a visual homing algorithm to lock on to a blinking light and rise up the meltole. This was very exciting moment for all of us. The images below were taken by the upward looking camera while coming back to the melthole.

The undersurface of ice of seen from te upward looking camera. The fiber-optic cable is also visible.

The under-surface of ice as seen from the upward looking camera. The fiber-optic cable is also visible.

Approaching the melt-hole. The light is blurry but visible.

Approaching the melt-hole. The light is blurry but visible.

The visual homing algorithm has identified the light as potential target.

The visual homing algorithm has identified the light as a potential target.

After seeing the light blink a few times, the visual homing algorithm has locked on to it as the target to home to.

After seeing the light blink a few times, the visual homing algorithm has locked on to it as the target to home to.

The bot rises up, keeping itself centered on the light. The people in the team are seen standing around the melthole.

The bot rises up, keeping itself centered on the light. The team is seen standing around the melt-hole.

 Parts of the light detection and visual homing algorithm were developed by Mohan Sridharan, Aniket Murarka, Greg Kuhlmann, Chris Flesher and myself.

 

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