RSL Rover

Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2016.


Computer Engineering; Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Christopher Kitts


The goal of this project was to design and implement an unmanned vehicle that can assess the air quality and general state of a post-fire environment. To do this, we equipped Santa Clara University's Polaris 6x6 Ranger with appropriate sensors and cameras to determine how safe the environment is for humans to enter. We also used GPS and laser scans to generate a 3D map that operators can use to define certain zones as particularly dangerous. Finally, we incorporated partially-autonomous sensing capabilities that will allow the operator to easily drive the vehicle. The result was a rugged, advanced, and intuitive vehicle that can be used to protect fire responders from any lingering hazards during the investigation of a post-fire environment. This vehicle is accompanied by a powerful operating system and localization techniques that will allow any future research groups to help this vehicle evolve into a fully autonomous system.