The motion of Unmanned Ground Vehicles/Rovers

The Perseverance rover is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. As interesting it may seem, many of its tasks also look simple. Aren’t they?

Lets dive into one of the simplest tasks of an unmanned ground vehicle also termed, a Rover. Its motion. Once touched to the ground, how do they know which direction they are heading at? How do they know how far to move to reach the target. How do they correct their path if they get deviated? All of this, autonomously and without human control.

Why not slightly simplify the task and bring our rover back to Earth, where we do have a highly accurate GPS system and a stronger magnetic field. However, it still has to maintain its autonomy.

Well, we still do face the same issue, once touched to the ground, how do they know which direction to head into? How do they know how far to move to reach the target. How do they correct their path if they get deviated? Just that we do have a strong geolocation and orientation system.

This mere task of motion may look simple, but is really not. In this blog, we try to understand how to deal with this matter and build a UGV capable of moving from one point to another while correcting itself.

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