In Focus - Issue 29 (Spring 2018)

HKUST robotics research team is accelerating forward the driverless transport revolution with the development of an e cient, cost-e ective, low-power consumption autonomous control system for slow-moving vehicles. The exciting technology encompasses golf carts and hospital service carts, among others. It can also be extended to other autonomous vehicles involved in relatively complex scenarios, such as manoeuvring in congested urban tra c as opposed to the more straightforward conditions of highway driving. The team, comprising faculty and students at the HKUST Robotics Institute and led by Prof Ming Liu, Electronic and Computer Engineering, has developed a customized “control bus” – used by the central processing unit (CPU) to talk to other devices in the computer – to facilitate centralized control of the vehicle’s mobility functions, including wire-driven steering, acceleration and brakes. Working closely with a light detection and ranging (Lidar) company that develops remote sensing, along with car companies and manufacturers, the researchers have created a near-to-market prototype, costing around HK$ , . The technology uses a single Lidar to achieve perception, control, mapping, localization and navigation in real-time, with only minor computational A 18 IN FOCUS Innovation