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Ambler: An Autonomous Rover for Planetary Exploration
June 1989 (vol. 22 no. 6)
pp. 18-26

The authors are building a prototype legged rover, called the Ambler (loosely an acronym for autonomous mobile exploration robot) and testing it on full-scale, rugged terrain of the sort that might be encountered on the Martian surface. They present an overview of their research program, focusing on locomotion, perception, planning, and control. They summarize some of the most important goals and requirements of a rover design and describe how locomotion, perception, and planning systems can satisfy these requirements. Since the program is relatively young (one year old at the time of writing) they identify issues and approaches and describe work in progress rather than report results. It is expected that many of the technologies developed will be applicable to other planetary bodies and to terrestrial concerns such as hazardous waste assessment and remediation, ocean floor exploration, and mining.

John Bares, Martial Hebert, Takeo Kanade, Eric Krotkov, Tom Mitchell, Reid Simmons, William Whittaker, "Ambler: An Autonomous Rover for Planetary Exploration," Computer, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 18-26, June 1989, doi:10.1109/2.30717
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