Unmanned Ground Vehicle

Topics: Unmanned ground vehicle, Unmanned aerial vehicle, Transport Pages: 3 (599 words) Published: April 1, 2013
Special Issue on Unmanned Ground Vehicles FIGURES OMITTED
Unmanned Systems Magazine
Summer 1995, volume 13, number 3
A Brief History of
Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Development Efforts
Douglas W. Gage (gage@nosc.mil)
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" -- George Santayana INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief survey of a
number of different threads of development that have
brought the UGV field to its current state, together with
references to allow the interested reader to probe more
In the broadest "dictionary" sense, an unmanned ground
vehicle (UGV) is any piece of mechanized equipment that
moves across the surface of the ground and serves as a
means of carrying or transporting something, but
explicitly does NOT carry a human being. A discussion
of such a broad universe of possible UGV systems needs
some organizing principle, and in fact a taxonomy of
UGV systems could be based upon any of a number of
characteristics of each system, including:
• the purpose of the development effort (often,
but not always, the performance of some
application-specific mission);
• the specific reasons for choosing a UGV
solution for the application (e.g., hazardous
environment, strength or endurance
requirements, size limitation);
• the "long pole" technological challenges, in
terms of functionality, performance, or cost,
posed by the application;
• the system's intended operating area (e.g.,
indoor evironments, anywhere indoors, outdoors
on roads, general cross-country terrain, the deep
seafloor, etc.);
• the vehicle's mode of locomotion (e.g., wheels,
tracks, or legs);
• how the vehicle's path is determined (i.e.,
control and navigation techniques employed).
To reasonably limit its scope, this survey will focus
principally on the large number of systems where the
"long pole" technological challenge is or has been in the
area of navigation and control....
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