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NREC designed, developed and tested an innovative autonomous perception and navigation system for the DARPA PerceptOR program.

The PerceptOR program’s goal was to improve the ability of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to navigate autonomously. NREC was the only organization that participated in all three phases of the program.

The NREC team developed an autonomous UGV that was guided by a small unmanned helicopter (flying eye). The flying eye scouted the terrain ahead of the UGV to detect hazards at long range. The UGV’s extensive onboard sensor suite detected close-range and mid-range hazards and confirmed the existence of obstacles seen from the air. Combining these two sources of terrain data allowed the UGV to plan paths that avoided dangerous areas.

The PerceptOR program’s technology has been transitioned to the UPI and LAGR programs.

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