I have been recently working on my honours project for my final year of university. The project is about using dynamic path finding algorithms to help autonomous vehicles navigate unknown terrain. The project is mainly focusing on developing the best navigation systems for ground space vehicles such as autonomous rovers that would navigate asteroids or planets.
I have completed my initial prototype which uses generated elevation models. These elevation models are loaded from a modified “ppm” format which uses the red and green values to provide 24 bit two dimensional arrays.
A slope model is then calculated using the specified slope algorithm (Horn Slope, maximum, average). This slope model is the converted to a hazard model which can be used for the rovers navigation.
The path finding part of the prototype makes use of the A star search algorithm. The simulation uses the algorithm to find the safest route to its destination. This means it will find the route with the lowest incline.
The next prototype I create will be to develop a simulation which will make use of the D star search algorithm. This new prototype will be used to show the comparison of A star and D star when it comes to navigating unknown terrain.