This project focused on autonomous rendezvous and coupling of a vehicle platform to a specified location on a companion vehicle (for coupling, refueling, loading, etc.). Autonomous rendezvous and coupling allows a platform to self-align and couple to support systems such as power sources, fuel depots or loading docks independently. We used passive machine vision to identify the POSE (position and orientation) of an optical tag. Once the tag was localized in 3D space, software directs the robotic platform to move and then couple to the object autonomously. The final product showed that a robotic platform could rendezvous with a precision of approximately 1 inch. This technology supports a range of military and commercial applications where vehicles or platforms must accurately align to specified locations.



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