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Easy-to-use platform for own cognitive experiments fully available

P118: Easy-to-use platform for own cognitive experiments fully available

 Project 118 consists of two parts: on the one hand the basic support to CoTeSys researchers utilizing MuCAR-3 for their work is given, and on the other hand a simulation system and future computer architectures are worked out.

The autonomous ground vehicle "Munich Cognitive Autonomous Robot Car 3rd Generation" MuCAR-3 is a demonstrator of CoTeSys, used either alone or combined with a blimp from DLR in combined rescue scenarios.

MuCAR-3 has full drive-by-wire modifications and is equipped with several additional sensors (cameras, laser range scanner, inertial navigation system). The principal goal of project 118 is to provide other researchers the basic support needed to conduct experiments for their research utilizing the MuCAR-3 vehicle platform: all data requests can be accessed through the documented C++ library TAScom which handles database access mechanism including timestamps. Control values are set by library functions, too. They are checked for being reasonable before transferred to the vehicle. By using TAScom in his applications, the user is independent of changes in the lower database architecture, and support by TAS is eased. New user-wanted functions can be added by TAS within a short time.

To reduce the risk of damaging actuators or the vehicle, and to reduce bottle necks in vehicle access, new software is evaluated on recorded data and in a closed-loop simulation. All interfaces to the simulation are the same as in the real vehicle.

For new cognitive algorithms, a suited hardware platform has to be provided. The next generation system will be equipped with two state-of-the-art AMD Opteron quadcore-CPUs, assisted by a NVIDIA 8800GT used as a co-processor, which antecessor has proven good performance in the actual system.

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The demonstrator vehicle MuCAR-3, fully equipped for autonomous-driving and with additional sensors. The laser range scanner and GPS antennas can be seen mounted on the roof, the cameras are within the car.