A Rule-Based Strategy for Astronaut Following Operations

Jamie A. Lennon and Ella M. Atkins

Scenarios for a manned mission to Mars call for astronaut extravehicular teams to be accompanied by semiautonomous rovers. These rovers must be able to safely follow the astronauts over a variety of terrain with minimal assistance. We propose a color-based visual tracking system as a high-speed sensory approach for astronaut following. In previous work we characterized the accuracy of the system, which was found to be highly dependent on environmental conditions. In this paper, we propose a set of rules to enable safe following behavior, concentrating on reactions when the visual target cannot be clearly identified.

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