Publication

Robotic Systems (RS)
2011

A NON-CONTEXTUAL MODEL FOR EVALUATING THE AUTONOMY LEVEL OF INTELLIGENT UNMANNED GROUND VEHICLES

by Phillip J Durst; Wendell Gray; Michael Trentini

Abstract

A simple, quantitative measure for encapsulating the autonomous capabilities of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) has yet to be established. Current models for measuring a UGV’s autonomy level require extensive, operational level testing, and provide a means for assessing the autonomy level for a specific mission and operational environment. A more elegant technique for quantifying UGV autonomy using component level testing of the UGV platform alone, outside of mission and environment contexts, is desirable. Using a high level framework for UGV architectures, such a model for determining a UGV’s level of autonomy has been developed. The model uses a combination of developmental and component level testing for each aspect of the UGV architecture to define a non-contextual autonomous potential (NCAP). The NCAP provides an autonomy level, ranging from fully nonautonomous to fully autonomous, in the form of a single numeric parameter describing the UGV’s performance capabilities when operating at that level of autonomy.