Robotic Mission Planning and Management

Encoding Missions for Robot Execution

While soldiers in the battlefield can take high level orders such as “cover me” or “clear this area,” robots currently deployed in the battlefield can only understand direct controls. Soldiers can operate at this level because they have been told the mission plan ahead of time and have been trained on standard tactics and procedures for combat. We are developing a domain specific language which encodes tactical and mission-level plans and behaviors so that fielded military robots can be given the same mission data that soldiers are privy to.

Tools for Mission Development

Humans define missions in terms of high level behaviors and services. Robots understand bits and bytes. Our mission planning tools, including a geo-spatial map editor, task editor and scheduler allow the user to develop mission plans intuitively using a library of common robot services and tasks for each mission. The tools encode the mission plans into code that the robot can read and understand.

Embedded Mission Execution and Management

Neya’s mission execution and management software interprets mission plans and executes the mission plan within the capabilities of the platform. The available sensors and actuators of the robot are used to achieve each of the mission goals while operating within specified constraints. This system allows a robotic platform to understand and execute higher level missions and quickly adapt to multiple missions or changing mission parameters.

In-Mission Decision Support

Real missions rarely go exactly as planned. As robots take more active and autonomous roles in missions, they must have the ability to adapt to dynamically changing environments and scenarios. Our mission management software supports the development of contingency and emergency operations to specify “plans of action” when deviations from the script are warranted.

Distributed Command and Control

As robots take on higher level tasks and develop the capability to make decisions during a mission, they must be able to communicate information to multiple team mates and take dynamic commands from multiple sources. Neya’s distributed command and control schema allows robots to communicate openly with other teammates (robot or human) and understand rank and priority to arbitrate commands from multiple sources.