CERBERUS: Autonomous Legged and Aerial Robotic Exploration in the Tunnel and Urban Circuits of the DARPA Subterranean Challenge. Marco Tranzatto, F. M., Lukas Bernreiter, C. G., Marco Camurri, S. M. K. K., Tung Dang, V. R., Johannes Loeje, D. W., Samuel Zimmermann, H. N., Marius Fehr, L. S., Russell Buchanan, M. B., Nikhil Khedekar, M. V., Fabian Jenelten, M. D., Timon Homberger, P. D. P., Lorenz Wellhausen, M. K., Takahiro Miki, S. H., Markus Montenegro, C. P., Fabian Tresoldi, J. C., Giorgio Valsecchi, J. L., Konrad Meyer, X. W., Juan Nieto, A. S., Marco Hutter, R. Y S., & Mark Mueller, M. F. Journal of Field Robotics, 2021.
CERBERUS: Autonomous Legged and Aerial Robotic Exploration in the Tunnel and Urban Circuits of the DARPA Subterranean Challenge [link]Pdf  abstract   bibtex   
Autonomous exploration of subterranean environments constitutes a major frontier for robotic systems as underground settings present key challenges that can render robot autonomy hard to achieve. This has motivated the DARPA Subterranean Challenge, where teams of robots search for objects of interest in various underground environments. In response, the CERBERUS system-of-systems is presented as a unified strategy towards subterranean exploration using legged and flying robots. As primary robots, ANYmal quadruped systems are deployed considering their endurance and potential to traverse challenging terrain. For aerial robots, both conventional and collision-tolerant multirotors are utilized to explore spaces too narrow or otherwise unreachable by ground systems. Anticipating degraded sensing conditions, a complementary multi-modal sensor fusion approach utilizing camera, LiDAR, and inertial data for resilient robot pose estimation is proposed. Individual robot pose estimates are refined by a centralized multi-robot map optimization approach to improve the reported location accuracy of detected objects of interest in the DARPA-defined coordinate frame. Furthermore, a unified exploration path planning policy is presented to facilitate the autonomous operation of both legged and aerial robots in complex underground networks. Finally, to enable communication between the robots and the base station, CERBERUS utilizes a ground rover with a high-gain antenna and an optical fiber connection to the base station, alongside breadcrumbing of wireless nodes by our legged robots. We report results from the CERBERUS system-of-systems deployment at the DARPA Subterranean Challenge Tunnel and Urban Circuits, along with the current limitations and the lessons learned for the benefit of the community.
@article{tranzatto2021cerberus,
  author    = {Marco Tranzatto, Frank Mascarich, Lukas Bernreiter,
               Carolina Godinho, Marco Camurri, Shehryar Masaud Khan Khattak,
               Tung Dang, Victor Reijgwart, Johannes Loeje, David Wisth,
               Samuel Zimmermann, Huan Nguyen, Marius Fehr, Lukas Solanka,
               Russell Buchanan, Marko Bjelonic, Nikhil Khedekar, Mathieu Valceschini,
               Fabian Jenelten, Mihir Dharmadhikari, Timon Homberger, Paolo De Petris,
               Lorenz Wellhausen, Mihir Kulkarni, Takahiro Miki, Satchel Hirsch,
               Markus Montenegro, Christos Papachristos, Fabian Tresoldi, Jan Carius,
               Giorgio Valsecchi, Joonho Lee, Konrad Meyer, Xiangyu Wu, Juan Nieto,
               Andy Smith, Marco Hutter, Roland Y Siegwart, Mark Mueller,
               Maurice Fallon, Kostas Alexis},
  title     = {CERBERUS: Autonomous Legged and Aerial Robotic Exploration in the Tunnel and Urban Circuits of the DARPA Subterranean Challenge},
  journal   = {Journal of Field Robotics},
  year      = {2021},
  abstract  = {Autonomous exploration of subterranean environments constitutes a
               major frontier for robotic systems as underground settings present key
               challenges that can render robot autonomy hard to achieve. This has
               motivated the DARPA Subterranean Challenge, where teams of robots search
               for objects of interest in various underground environments. In response,
               the CERBERUS system-of-systems is presented as a unified strategy towards
               subterranean exploration using legged and flying robots.  As primary robots,
               ANYmal quadruped systems are deployed considering their endurance and potential
               to traverse challenging terrain. For aerial robots, both conventional and
               collision-tolerant multirotors are utilized to explore spaces too narrow or
               otherwise unreachable by ground systems. Anticipating degraded sensing
               conditions, a complementary multi-modal sensor fusion approach utilizing
               camera, LiDAR, and inertial data for resilient robot pose estimation is
               proposed. Individual robot pose estimates are refined by a centralized
               multi-robot map optimization approach to improve the reported location
               accuracy of detected objects of interest in the DARPA-defined coordinate
               frame. Furthermore, a unified exploration path planning policy is presented
               to facilitate the autonomous operation of both legged and aerial robots in
               complex underground networks. Finally, to enable communication between the
               robots and the base station, CERBERUS utilizes a ground rover with a high-gain
               antenna and an optical fiber connection to the base station, alongside breadcrumbing
               of wireless nodes by our legged robots. We report results from the CERBERUS
               system-of-systems deployment at the DARPA Subterranean Challenge Tunnel and Urban Circuits,
               along with the current limitations and the lessons learned for the benefit of the community.},
  url_pdf   = {https://www.research-collection.ethz.ch/handle/20.500.11850/489726},
}

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