Abstract: This paper presents an autonomous docking system with novel integrated algorithms for mobile self-reconfigurable robots equipped with inexpensive sensors. A novel docking algorithm was developed to determine the initial distance and orientation of the two modules, and sensor models were established through experiments. Both Extended Kalman filter (EKF) and particle filter (PF) were deployed to fuse the measurements from IR and encoders and provide accurate estimates of orientation and distance. Simulation experiments were carried out first and then real experiments were conducted to verify the feasibility and good performance of the proposed docking algorithm and system. The proposed system provides a robust and reliable docking solution using low cost sensors.
Abstract: We present a new vision based cooperative pose estimation scheme for systems of mobile robots equipped with RGB-D cameras. We first model a multi-robot system as an edge-weighted graph. Then, based on this model, and by using the real-time color and depth data, the robots with shared field-of-views estimate their relative poses in pairwise. The system does not need the existence of a single common view shared by all robots, and it works in 3D scenes without any specific calibration pattern or landmark. The proposed scheme distributes working loads evenly in the system, hence it is scalable and the computing power of the participating robots is efficiently used. The performance and robustness were analyzed both on synthetic and experimental data in different environments over a range of system configurations with varying number of robots and poses.
Abstract: Autonomous navigation in real-world industrial environments is a challenging task in many respects. One of the key open challenges is fast planning and execution of trajectories to reach arbitrary target positions and orientations with high accuracy and precision, while taking into account non-holonomic vehicle constraints. In recent years, lattice-based motion planners have been successfully used to generate kinematically and kinodynamically feasible motions for non-holonomic vehicles. However, the discretized nature of these algorithms induces discontinuities in both state and control space of the obtained trajectories, resulting in a mismatch between the achieved and the target end pose of the vehicle. As endpose accuracy is critical for the successful loading and unloading of cargo in typical industrial applications, automatically planned paths have not been widely adopted in commercial AGV systems. The main contribution of this paper is a path smoothing approach, which builds on the output of a lattice-based motion planner to generate smooth drivable trajectories for non-holonomic industrial vehicles. The proposed approach is evaluated in several industrially relevant scenarios and found to be both fast (less than 2 s per vehicle trajectory) and accurate (end-point pose errors below 0.01 m in translation and 0.005 radians in orientation).
Abstract: The cops-and-robber (CR) game has been used in mobile robotics as a discretized model (played on a graph G) of pursuit/evasion problems. The “classic” CR version is a perfect information game: the cops’ (pursuer’s) location is always known to the robber (evader) and vice versa. Many variants of the classic game can be defined: the robber can be invisible and also the robber can be either adversarial (tries to avoid capture) or drunk (performs a random walk). Furthermore, the cops and robber can reside in either nodes or edges of G. Several of these variants are relevant as models or robotic pursuit/evasion. In this paper, we first define carefully several of the variants mentioned above and related quantities such as the cop number and the capture time. Then we introduce and study the cost of visibility (COV), a quantitative measure of the increase in difficulty (from the cops’ point of view) when the robber is invisible. In addition to our theoretical results, we present algorithms which can be used to compute capture times and COV of graphs which are analytically intractable. Finally, we present the results of applying these algorithms to the numerical computation of COV.
Abstract: This article proposes an adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) for solving navigation problems of an autonomous ground vehicle (AGV). The system consists of four ANFIS controllers; two of which are used for regulating both the left and right angular velocities of the AGV in order to reach the target position; and other two ANFIS controllers are used for optimal heading adjustment in order to avoid obstacles. The two velocity controllers receive three sensor inputs: front distance (FD); right distance (RD) and left distance (LD) for the low-level motion control. Two heading controllers deploy the angle difference (AD) between the heading of AGV and the angle to the target to choose the optimal direction. The simulation experiments have been carried out under two different scenarios to investigate the feasibility of the proposed ANFIS technique. The simulation results have been presented using MATLAB software package; showing that ANFIS is capable of performing the navigation and path planning task safely and efficiently in a workspace populated with static obstacles.