Outer Space Team 2022

Anoushka Alavilli, John Batchelor, John Freeman, James Lai, Keenan Rhea, Rebecca Skantar

Hazard Detection & Positioning System for Navigation on Asteroid

While most navigation systems on Earth rely on access to GPS or prior mapping of the environment, these are not typically available to systems that explore remote or potentially hazardous environments such as asteroids. In these cases, navigation and localization must be performed using other methods. With the support of our sponsor Draper Laboratory, we have designed and built a robot that can safely navigate around obstacles and localize itself relative to its surroundings. We developed this system through the use of a LiDAR sensor, an inertial measurement unit (IMU), and a camera. By utilizing these sensors and integrating the data with a Kalman Filter, we are able to determine the robot’s location relative to its original starting position. We conducted one-dimensional motion trials in a test environment containing rocks and found that our system had a maximum localization error of 5.7% over a total distance of 0.53 meters.

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