Autonomous Solutions, Inc. is excited to announce the approval of two trademarks by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The two marks, Vantage® and TruSpective®, are used to identify both software and hardware solutions manufactured by ASI and represent great strides in both obstacle detection/avoidance and GPS-denied navigation and manipulation technologies.

Without any type of sensor-based perception, autonomous vehicles are essentially "blind," relying solely on GPS signals to determine and navigate their course. Obstacles such as large rocks, fallen debris, animals, humans, and other vehicles cannot be identified by GPS resulting in the potential of dangerous collisions.

The Vantage obstacle detection and avoidance system is a combination of robotic sensors and software that identifies obstacles and allows robotic vehicles to react accordingly. The software accepts 3D LIDAR or video camera input data and uses detection algorithms to determine the size of and distance to a potential obstacle. Depending on the configuration of Vantage, the autonomous vehicle may react with "see-and-stop" or "see-and-avoid" behavior. This system represents one layer of the vehicle safety package offered by ASI on all robotic installations.

In the world of explosives handling robots, one of the greatest challenges is being able to accurately pick up and handle objects.

Using two dimensional video cameras is only marginally effective, and manipulation is often time consuming and difficult. "It's like that arcade game with the claw you're trying to use to pick up a stuffed animal, but you can never seem to get it right," says Matt Droter, Product Manager for ASI's sensor research team. "It's the same way with using a camera feed in bomb disposal. It's not really an exact science, and that makes it tough for high pressure, dangerous situations."

To solve this problem, ASI's sensor team integrates 3D sensor technology into the software program, TruSpective.

The software fuses 3D environment scans with 2D video feeds to create a unique robot-in-world view and provides operators with an interface that can pan and zoom in a three dimensional space around the robot to give a better perspective of object location and can better inform the robot of the location of its manipulators. TruSpecitve is designed for use in bomb disposal, hazardous material disposal, disaster recovery, and other GPS-denied environments. The official descriptions of these trademarks can be found by searching the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) on the USPTO website.