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Real-Time Roadway Mapping and Ground Robotic Path Planning Via Unmanned Aircraft
Radford, Scott Carson
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The thesis details the development of computer vision and path planning algorithms in order to map an area via UAV aerial imagery and aid a UGV in navigating a roadway when the road conditions are not previously known (i.e. disaster situations). Feature detection was used for transform calculation and image warping to create mosaics. A continuous extension using dynamic cropping based on newly gathered images was used to improve performance and computation time. Road detection using k-means segmentation and binary image morphing was applied to aerial imagery with image shifting tracked by the mosaicking to develop a large road map. Improvements to computation time were developed using k-means for calibration at intervals and nearest neighbor calculating for each image. This showed a greatly reduced computation time for a series of images with only 1-2% error compared to regular k-means segmentation. Path planning for the UAV utilized a traveling wave applied to the traveling salesman genetic algorithm solution to prioritize close targets and facilitate UGV deployment. Based on the large map of road locations and road detection method, the Rapidly-exploring Random Tree (RRT) algorithm was modified for real-time application and efficient data processing. Considerations of incomplete maps and goal adjustments was also incorporated. Finally, aerial imagery from an actual UAV flight was processed using these algorithms to validate and test flight parameters. Testing of different flight parameters showed the desired image overlay of 50% to give accurate mosaics. It also helped to develop a benchmark for the altitude, image resolution and frequency for flights. Vehicle requirements and algorithm limitations for future applications of this system are also discussed.
- Masters Theses