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 December 2015
Best Paper Award – ICCV 2015
Congratulations to Geoff Pascoe, Will Maddern and Paul Newman on winning the Best Paper Award for their paper Direct visual location and calibration for road vehicles in changing city environments at ICCV 2015.
Self-driving pods win national innovation award
The LUTZ Pathfinder project saw off competition from four other shortlisted contenders to pick up the prestigious trophy at the 99th SMMT Annual Dinner.
Overseen by the Transport Systems Catapult on behalf of the UK Automotive Council, LUTZ Pathfinder is a collaborative project involving Coventry-based manufacturers RDM Group, the University of Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science Mobile Robotics Group (MRG) and Milton Keynes Council.
The three electric-powered pods will be used not only to trial the technology involved in operating self-driving vehicles, but also to assess public response to the pods in a real-world setting.
The first LUTZ Pathfinder pod is currently at Oxford MRG for the integration of the autonomous control system.
Read the full article here:
News September 2015
LUTZ Pod Arrival
April 2016 will see MRG taking delivery of the first of the LUTZ Pods. This will be a great milestone in this project which is a collaboration between RDM who make the hardware and the Transport Catapult. When the vehicle is delivered we will be installing an autonomy system in the vehicle which we call “Selenium”.
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. Selenium is a complete redesign of our autonomy system and its design was greatly influenced by the RobotCar project but watch this space for information on the LUTZ pods.