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