Terrain Modeling and Following Using a Compliant Manipulator for Humanitarian Demining Applications

  • Marc Freese
  • Surya P. N. Singh
  • William Singhose
  • Edwardo F. Fukushima
  • Shigeo Hirose
Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 62)


Operations with flexible, compliant manipulators over large workspaces relative to the manipulator are complicated by noise, vibration, and measurement bias. These difficulties are compounded in unstructured environments, such as those encountered in humanitarian demining. By taking advantage of the static structure of the terrain and the manipulator’s fundamental mechanical characteristics, a series of adaptive corrections and filters refine noisy topographical measurements. These filters along with a shaped actuation scheme can generate smooth and well-controlled trajectories that allow for terrain surface following. Experimental testing was performed on a field robot with a compliant, 3 m long hybrid manipulator and a stereo vision system. The proposed method provides a vertical tracking precision of ±5 mm on a variety of ground clearings, with tip scanning speeds of up to 0.5 m/s. As such, it can agilely move the attached sensor(s) through precise scanning trajectories that are very close to the ground. This method improves overall detection and generation of precise maps of suspected mine locations.


Scanning Scheme Path Correction Residual Vibration Stereo Vision System Compliant Manipulator 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Freese
    • 1
  • Surya P. N. Singh
    • 2
  • William Singhose
    • 3
  • Edwardo F. Fukushima
    • 1
  • Shigeo Hirose
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Eng.Tokyo Institute of Technology 
  2. 2.Australian Centre for Field RoboticsUniversity of Sydney 
  3. 3.School of Mechanical Eng.Georgia Institute of Technology 

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