Hercules: An Autonomous Logistic Vehicle for Contact-less Goods Transportation During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Since December 2019, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly across China. As at the date of writing this article, the disease has been globally reported in 100 countries, infected over 100,000 people and caused over 3,000 deaths. Avoiding person-to-person transmission is an effective approach to control and prevent the epidemic. However, many daily activities, such as logistics transporting goods in our daily life, inevitably involve person-to-person contact. To achieve contact-less goods transportation, using an autonomous logistic vehicle has become the preferred choice. This article presents Hercules, an autonomous logistic vehicle used for contact-less goods transportation during the outbreak of COVID-19. The vehicle is designed with autonomous navigation capability. We provide details on the hardware and software, as well as the algorithms to achieve autonomous navigation including perception, planning and control. This paper is accompanied by a demonstration video and a dataset, which are available here: https://sites.google.com/view/contact-less-transportation.