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This work presents a hierarchical navigation architecture and cascade classifier for sample search and identification on a space exploration rover. A three tier navigation architecture and inverse Jacobian based robot arm controller are presented. The algorithms are implemented on AERO, the Autonomous Exploration Rover, participating in the NASA Sample Return Robot Centennial Challenge in 2013 and initial results are demonstrated. Index Terms-sample return rover, driving with tentacles, histogram of gradients, inverse jacobiandoi:10.1109/smc.2013.761 dblp:conf/smc/DimitrovDPZWP13 fatcat:oquz47v3cjfdlcnfyqflonzdzm