CeRVIM Seminar (hybrid) : Dominic Baril, March 3, 2023, PLT-2501 and on Zoom

CeRVIM Seminar : Kilometer-scale autonomous navigation in subarctic forests: challenges and lessons learned

Dominic Baril
Norlab (Northern Robotics Laboratory)
Dép. d’informatique et de génie logiciel, U. Laval

Friday, March 3, 2023, 1:30 p.m., PLT-2501 and on Zoom


With recent major advances in mobile robotics, it is now possible to deploy robots in various scenarios to support a variety of industries. However, few studies document the impact of winter conditions and the boreal forest on autonomous navigation systems. This is why we present a field report on the deployment of an autonomous navigation system in the Montmorency Forest, in the province of Quebec, in Canada. As part of this work, we have designed an autonomous navigation system based on the registration of point clouds measured by lidars to locate the vehicle and map the environment. We have demonstrated the ability of the system to navigate 18.8 km independently on forest trails in harsh winter conditions. We present the impact of vegetation and snow accumulation on autonomous navigation algorithms. The presentation will conclude with a discussion concerning the challenges to be met in order to achieve robust autonomous navigation under the conditions encountered in this deployment.

This presentation is based on the article (https://arxiv.org/abs/2111.13981) which has been published in the journal Field Robotics.

Dominic Baril is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science under the supervision of Professors François Pomerleau and Philippe Giguère. As part of his research in the Norlab, Université Laval’s mobile robotics laboratory, he seeks to increase the robustness of path-following algorithms for autonomous vehicles under variable traction conditions, more specifically snow-covered terrain. He has coordinated numerous field trials with a 500 kg robot in the Montmorency Forest during which the impact of the environment was quantified on a state-of-the-art autonomous navigation system.

The presentation will be given in French and the slides will be in French.

To obtain the Zoom meeting web link, please contact: