Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robots
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Autonomous vehicle research has been on the rise in recent years. The need for autonomous vehicles and functions is growing for both everyday driving and military use. Current techniques have been shown to adequately navigate vehicles around a closed course. However, in hostile situations, where the objective timeframe is unclear, an autonomous vehicle alone would not be reliable in carrying out a mission. In this work, a system capable of both recognizing and acquiring biomass for self-fueling is investigated. Incorporating such a system with an autonomous vehicle would allow for a self-sustaining vehicle capable of being sent on a mission indefinitely. A study is done on the feasibility and requirements of a fully integrated system. It has been shown that the system is able to accurately distinguish and obtain a biomass source in a multi object environment. This biomass is then sent to an engine for burning and conversion to electrical energy. The energy is then stored in a system of batteries and used to sustain the operation of the platform.