Mobile Autonomy: A Pervasive Technology
The Oxford Mobile Robotics Group researches all aspects of land based mobile autonomy. We invent the technologies that allow machines to ask and answer “Where am I?”, “What surrounds me?” and “What should I do next?” These three key questions underpin all that we do. They force us to confront fundamental questions in navigation, perception, machine learning and systems design. We are proud of the way we validate our thinking and challenge ourselves by deploying and running large robotics systems. These “flagship” projects, drawn from many application domains are central to our mission – we solve real world robotics problems. In 2014 a spin-out company called Oxbotica was launched to drive commercialisation and cross domain impact of our work.
News 15 Sept 2015
September sees MRG taking delivery of the first of the LUTZ Pods. This is a great milestone in this project which is a collaboration between RDM who make the hardware and the Transport Catapult. We will now spend the coming months installing an autonomy system in the vehicle which we call “Mercury”.
This involves installing a whole suite of sensors around the vehicle – we use cameras, lasers and radars. Just as in the RobotCar project, these are connected to a set of processing modules within the vehicle that run the autonomy software. This combination of sensors and software allows the vehicle to learn the structure (map) of its environment and then when operating navigate, plan and operate within it to carry passengers. It does this while watching out for and coping with hazards like cars, people, bikes and kerbs. We will be testing the performance and security of the combined hardware and software system over the winter months. Mercury is a complete redesign of our autonomy system and its design was greatly influenced by the RobotCar project. Early next year we will have more news on our work on the next generation of the autonomous car project but in the meantime watch this space for information on the LUTZ pods.