Husky UGV Robotic Unmanned Ground Vehicle Penguins Antarctica
The Husky UGV is basically a robotic unmanned ground vehicle that researchers are using to spy on penguins in Antarctica. That’s right, the project consists of a hybrid (autonomous and remote-controlled) Husky UGV-based robot named ECHO loaded with multiple sensors including a camera and an RFID antenna to read RFID tags from chipped penguins.

Utilizing the RFID scanner, ECHO scans penguins to assess their breeding status and survival success. The robot is capable of tracking individual penguins throughout their lifetimes, allowing researchers to gather data for behavioral and population dynamics research. On the technical side, ECHO comes equipped with LiDAR for collision avoidance / penguin detection, a 360° camera for penguin verification, two GPS modules, and an RFID antenna. Plus, it has Clearpath’s outdoor navigation autonomy software to enable it to roam autonomously amongst penguin colonies. Unlike this penguin semi-submarine boat, the Husky UGV can actually be used for scientific research.

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Husky UGV Robotic Unmanned Ground Vehicle Penguins Antarctica

The Husky UGV impressed me because it is a highly configurable but integrated platform. The number of add-ons available for purchase and configuration is unrivaled. With good tracking and the ability to “unstick” itself when steered manually, the platform was also ideal for the snow and ice conditions we encountered in Antarctica. Finally, it was critical that the Husky UGV be relatively silent and capable of being driven slowly in order to avoid penguin reactions,” said Daniel Zitterbart, Associate Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.