Unmanned Systems R&D

image of multimodal sensor arrays


Developing advanced perception systems to determine terrain and roadway traversability and detect objects and obstacles is a core competency of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). Using multi-modal sensor arrays (Cameras, LIDAR, RADAR, etc.) SwRI develops high-performance, low-cost perception systems to support various unmanned systems, driverless cars, and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs).

illustration of fused sensor estimate


SwRI has developed high-performance relative and absolute localization algorithms that allow unmanned systems to operate in GPS denied or degraded environments. These algorithms fuse relative motion sensors, vehicle and visual odometry, and absolute reference signals in a low-cost package that can yield high accuracy position correction.

image of computer algorithm


Using modular advanced perception and localization algorithms to understand the environment, SwRI has implemented numerous vehicle control/path-planning algorithms. Distributed and real-time control systems operating reactively on-road and deliberatively off-road. SwRI also heavily utilizes the NIST 4D/RCS approach to behavior-based control.

Automated Driving Consulting Service

Examples of SwRI Unmanned Systems (UGV) Programs

Related Patent

Christopher Mentzer, Manager, (210) 522-4240, cmentzer@swri.org