RoboNav: Off-road navigation for robotic platforms

Automated robot systems that are able to navigate in remote and challenging environments like alpine regions can be a significant help for end users like mountain rescuer or constructors or maintainer of infrastructure (e.g. paths or installation for protection). Such robots can perform automated transport of materials, tools, and persons as well as the automated execution of construction or maintenance actions. Endurance and payload issues renders the deployment of ground robots more realistically. Two main issues arise when deploying such robots in remote and difficult terrain. First in contrast to humans, robots usually need a rather detailed map of their environment to perform navigation; deriving and executing an efficient and safe path to a given goal. In engineered environments like urban areas or highways such detailed maps are available. In remote or unstructured areas these maps need to be generated beforehand either by the robot itself or by other means like airborne systems. Secondly humans are capable to navigate in a challenging environment even with a less detailed map and a rough given route because of their superior perception and motion skills. Robots in contrast still need very detailed map and a high accuracy in their localization to perform challenging navigation task.

In order to allow a ground robot to navigate efficiently and safely in remote areas RoboNav will aim at three main goals:

  • Use cases will be defined that are relevant for the users but are also realistic and helpful for the participating users.
  • Development of a pipeline to convert earth observation data into routing data that can be used for the navigation.
  • Development of an integrated navigation concept that is suitable for automated navigation of a robot in the envisioned challenging environments – partly task of the Institute of Geodesy (Working Group of Navigation)


Logo of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency.

This project is funded by the Austrian Promotion Agency (FFG) within the programme line "ASAP".


Manfred Wieser
Steyrergasse 30/III
8010 Graz
Tel: +43/316/873-6348
Fax: +43/316/873-8888

Markus Watzko
Steyrergasse 30/III
8010 Graz
Tel: +43/316/873-6834