Revere provides different types of research platforms, both road and marine based vehicles with ambitions to expand into aerospace. A research platform is typically a base vehicle (e.g. a passenger car or a truck) that has been equipped with different types of sensors, computers for data logging, communication technologies and other testing equipment. All research platforms are connected to our cloud and can be monitored remotely.
Research platforms - Road
Volvo XC90 “Snowfox”
The Volvo XC90 T6 AWD is equipped with several sensors including, for example, cameras, lidar, radars, high-precision positioning system and accelerometers (IMU). The use of several cameras provides a 360-degree view. Access to the vehicle’s network enables full actuation including steering, acceleration, and braking. The on-board computational power enables edge computing, vehicle control and advanced data logging. An auxiliary power system ensures reliable power supply also when the vehicle is standing still for a longer period. Snowfox is thus well equipped for tests on highway as well as in city environments.
Volvo FH16 “Rhino”
The Volvo FH16 is a 6x4 750hp tractor with Volvo Dynamic Steering and I-Shift transmission. This in combination with the low chassis and liftable rear axle makes it optimized for research on long vehicle combinations and it’s an ideal vehicle for truck-based testing. Rhino is equipped with cameras, lidar, high-precision positioning system and accelerometers (IMU). An on-board auxiliary power system ensures reliable power supply and helps avoid engine idling. There are on-board computers for computational tasks, vehicle control and data logging. There is an interface enabling full vehicle actuation including steering, acceleration and braking. The fully automated fifth wheel enables autonomous trailer coupling and de-coupling and special interfaces have been developed for efficient communication with connected trailers.
Race car “Lynx”
This race car has been developed and built by Chalmers students. The complete body is made of carbon fiber making it very light and rigid. It has a fully electrical driveline with a 480V battery and two-wheel motors, one on each rear wheel. Actuators for steering and braking enables full control via the computers. Sensors like cameras and lidar makes the vehicle self-driving and it is used in the international Formula Student Driverless competition.
Miniature cars “Kiwi”
Kiwi is a small 3D-printed car platform (approximately scale 1/10) that has been developed and built by REVERE for use in for example university courses. It is equipped with two small computers, a camera and ultrasonic sensors. This enables development of autonomous functions and also remote control via wifi. Also, this small car platform uses REVERE’s software platform OpenDLV, making it easy to transfer code and algorithms to a full-size vehicle when needed. It total, there are about 50 Kiwi cars available.
Research platforms - Marine
Revere has entered the field of marine research. The lab continues to expand its activities to the growing interest of automation in the marine sector. Apart from the radar systems, the sensor technology used does not differ much between land and sea, thus Revere can transfer a lot of existing systems, knowledge, and experience into marine applications. Revere has engaged in establishing several marine research platforms and are constantly evolving to meet the needs of the industry.
Pilot Boat ”Seahorse”
The Seahorse platform for data collection is a 5 m long aluminum boat with 0.5 m draft. The basic sensor platform consists of a GNSS system with three antennas and real-time kinematic positioning (RTK) capabilities and a fibre optic gyro IMU system, four single-channel high-performance vision sensors, two three-channel high-performance vision sensors, a 360° documentation camera system, three high-performance laser range scanners, a conventional marine 360° spinning radar sensor, a weather and barometric pressure sensor, and an automatic identification system (AIS) receiver. All sensors are extrinsically calibrated into a joint reference frame, where the GNSS sensor and the IMU jointly provides ground truth positioning.
Catamaran marine drone “Seacat”
Seacat is a 2.5 meter long instrumented catamaran marine drone used for autonomous unmanned missions and data collection. Above the waterline, it is equipped with an array of cameras, used for remote monitoring and control, and a lidar. Under water, the platform carries two high-resolution cameras for computer vision, as well as a multibeam sensor. The platform is differentially steered by using two individually controlled electric motors. It is also equipped with a rudder for maximum controllability. The platform was designed and built by SP Marine Tech, in close collaboration with Chalmers and RISE.
Research platforms - Software
Developed exclusively by researchers at Revere, OpenDLV is an open source software framework intended to run in autonomous vehicles. Open DLV is vehicle and vehicle type independent and handles hardware communication, safety and override functions, sensor fusion, decision making, and visualization. The software is easy to install and highly distributed.
The software is mainly written in C++ and formally tested with focus on safety and data security. It also supports seamless simulation, where the exact same software running in a real vehicle can be run in a 2D- or 3D-graphical simulation environment. The software features interfaces for many sensors and interfaces for ROS and Matlab.
Computation cluster at Revere
All research platforms at Revere are equipped with a multitude of various sensors producing hundreds of megabytes per second.
Data collection and processing needs related to the vehicles at Revere is a growing trend and the lab has established computational capabilities close to the vehicles to:
- Offload the data to post-processing systems.
- Do first filtering and analysis steps already in the lab before the data is further processed at the various research groups.
- Provide instruments to cope with a data-lake, as Revere follows the design principle of "bringing the fisherman to the lake and not the lake to the fisherman" when handling the ever-growing data.
The Revere computation cluster houses a state-of-the-art data storage system and a cluster of computing power spread over multiple systems with varying configuration levels and hardware acceleration capabilities.
The computation cluster is linked in a safe and secure way to our platforms enabling us to add post-processing layers within our cluster and to automate specific tasks for all platforms. Data is also included in daily backups to Chalmers servers.
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