Autonomous Control of a Scale Model of a Trailer-Truck using an Obstacle-Avoidance Path-Planning Hierarchy

Robert S. Woodley
Levent Acar, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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A scale model of a tractor-trailer truck was developed as a testbed for control algorithms. The truck operates in autonomous or semi-autonomous modes. An on-board Pentium computer with a PC104 bus performs the computations and data collection. Various sensors and a wireless transceiver are on-board the truck. Our research focus has been in the autonomous control of vehicles using intelligent systems. For this document we have employed a multi-resolutional hierarchy to plan a path for the tractor-trailer truck. The hierarchy starts with a simple path then warps it around obstacles. The modular construction of the hierarchy allows more intelligent agents to perform some of tasks. The current system has some limitations as to the placement of obstacles, however, it is an extremely fast algorithm and is able to handle some motion of the obstacles.