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.
Abstract: In this paper, a synthetic jet actuators (SJA)-based nonlinear robust controller is developed, which is capable of completely suppressing limit cycle oscillations (LCO) in UAV systems with parametric uncertainty in the SJA dynamics and unmodeled external disturbances. Specifically, the control law compensates for uncertainty in an input gain matrix, which results from the unknown airflow dynamics generated by the SJA. Challenges in the control design include compensation for input-multiplicative parametric uncertainty in the actuator dynamic model. The result was achieved via innovative algebraic manipulation in the error system development, along with a Lyapunov-based robust control law. A rigorous Lyapunov-based stability analysis is utilized to prove asymptotic LCO suppression, considering a detailed dynamic model of the pitching and plunging dynamics. Numerical simulation results are provided to demonstrate the robustness and practical performance of the proposed control law.
Abstract: Complex teleoperative tasks, such as surgery, generally require human control. However, teleoperating a robot using indirect visual information poses many technical challenges because the user is expected to control the movement(s) of the camera(s) in addition to the robot’s arms and other elements. For humans, camera positioning is difficult, error-prone, and a drain on the user’s available resources and attention. This paper reviews the state of the art of autonomous camera control with a focus on surgical applications. We also propose potential avenues of research in this field that will support the transition from direct slaved control to truly autonomous robotic camera systems.
Abstract: Performing some special tasks using electrooculography (EOG) in daily activities is being developed in various areas. In this paper, simple rotation matrixes were introduced to help the operator move a 2-DoF planar robot manipulator. The EOG sensor, NF 5201, has two output channels (Ch1 and Ch2), as well as one ground channel and one reference channel. The robot movement was the indicator that this system could follow gaze motion based on EOG. Operators gazed into five training target points each in the horizontal and vertical line as the preliminary experiments, which were based on directions, distances and the areas of gaze motions. This was done to get the relationships between EOG and gaze motion distance for four directions, which were up, down, right and left. The maximum angle for the horizontal was 46°, while it was 38° for the vertical. Rotation matrixes for the horizontal and vertical signals were combined, so as to diagonally track objects. To verify, the errors between actual and desired target positions were calculated using the Euclidian distance. This test section had 20 random target points. The result indicated that this system could track an object with average angle errors of 3.31° in the x-axis and 3.58° in the y-axis.