The aim of this effort is to develop a model of an actual unmanned ground vehicle system for computer simulations in order to evaluate guidance algorithms developed for autonomous waypoint navigation and obstacle avoidance. Simulation is a vital tool for the development of autonomous systems. Simulating individual parts and units of the system can help identify flaws in its design or implementation. In the Matlab-Simulink environment, a kinematic based model of an skid-steer ground vehicle is designed. Furthermore, a model of quadrature encoders for position estimation, and a laser range finder (LRF) sensor model for obstacle detection are also created. Two different groups of experiments are performed to test the performance of the proposed models. Experimental results indicate that the models can adequately simulate the actual vehicle behaviors. This effort is part of an ongoing research to create fully autonomous UxVs capable of waypoint navigation and obstacle avoidance.

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