Flexible Supervised Autonomy for Exploration in Subterranean Environments Journal Article uri icon



  • While the capabilities of autonomous systems have been steadily improving in recent years, these systems still struggle to rapidly explore previously unknown environments without the aid of GPS-assisted navigation. The DARPA Subterranean (SubT) Challenge aimed to fast track the development of autonomous exploration systems by evaluating their performance in realworld underground search-and-rescue scenarios. Subterranean environments present a plethora of challenges for robotic systems, such as limited communications, complex topology, visually-degraded sensing, and harsh terrain. The presented solution enables long-term autonomy with minimal human supervision by combining a powerful and independent single-agent autonomy stack, with higher level mission management operating over a flexible mesh network. The autonomy suite deployed on quadruped and wheeled robots was fully independent, freeing the human supervision to loosely supervise the mission, and make high-impact strategic decisions.We also discuss lessons learned from fielding our system at the SubT Final Event, relating to vehicle versatility, system adaptability, and reconfigurable communications.

publication date

  • January 20, 2023

has restriction

  • bronze

Date in CU Experts

  • January 31, 2023 9:47 AM

Full Author List

  • Biggie H; Rush E; Riley D; Ahmad S; Ohradzansky M; Harlow K; Miles M; Torres D; McGuire S; Frew E

author count

  • 12

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2771-3989

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 125

end page

  • 189


  • 3


  • 1