A Hierarchical Fault Tolerant Control System for UGVs Experiencing Mobility Failures

P. Frederick, S. Lee, J. Ajitsaria, and N. Propes (USA)


Unmanned Ground Vehicles, Fault Tolerant System, Hierarchical Control, Mobility Failures


Autonomous vehicles are an important part of today’s military operation. The ability to receive information about varying conditions of a battlefield and to direct autonomous actions provides clear advantages. Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) in particular are important for establishing control over ground areas of interest without loss of human life. However, UGVs must possess some degree of intelligence to overcome many obstacles such as system failures, varying terrain, loss of communication, etc. to achieve mission goals. As UGV usage grows, there exists a need for these systems to maintain a level of self-awareness and autonomy to ensure operational effectiveness. This paper proposes a novel hierarchical fault tolerant control architecture which utilizes online parameter adjustments derived from diagnostic information to modify vehicle behavior. The architecture consists of three levels updating mission goals, path trajectories, and low level control parameters in order to maintain vehicle mobility. A specific failure mode, tire air leak, is analyzed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach.

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