Matching Items (3)

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Decentralized Control of Collective Transport by Multi-Robot Systems with Minimal Information

Description

One potential application of multi-robot systems is collective transport, a task in which multiple mobile robots collaboratively transport a payload that is too large or heavy to be carried by

One potential application of multi-robot systems is collective transport, a task in which multiple mobile robots collaboratively transport a payload that is too large or heavy to be carried by a single robot. Numerous control schemes have been proposed for collective transport in environments where robots can localize themselves (e.g., using GPS) and communicate with one another, have information about the payload's geometric and dynamical properties, and follow predefined robot and/or payload trajectories. However, these approaches cannot be applied in uncertain environments where robots do not have reliable communication and GPS and lack information about the payload. These conditions characterize a variety of applications, including construction, mining, assembly in space and underwater, search-and-rescue, and disaster response.
Toward this end, this thesis presents decentralized control strategies for collective transport by robots that regulate their actions using only their local sensor measurements and minimal prior information. These strategies can be implemented on robots that have limited or absent localization capabilities, do not explicitly exchange information, and are not assigned predefined trajectories. The controllers are developed for collective transport over planar surfaces, but can be extended to three-dimensional environments.

This thesis addresses the above problem for two control objectives. First, decentralized controllers are proposed for velocity control of collective transport, in which the robots must transport a payload at a constant velocity through an unbounded domain that may contain strictly convex obstacles. The robots are provided only with the target transport velocity, and they do not have global localization or prior information about any obstacles in the environment. Second, decentralized controllers are proposed for position control of collective transport, in which the robots must transport a payload to a target position through a bounded or unbounded domain that may contain convex obstacles. The robots are subject to the same constraints as in the velocity control scenario, except that they are assumed to have global localization. Theoretical guarantees for successful execution of the task are derived using techniques from nonlinear control theory, and it is shown through simulations and physical robot experiments that the transport objectives are achieved with the proposed controllers.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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The Doghouse Plot: History, Construction Techniques, and Application

Description

The Doghouse Plot visually represents an aircraft’s performance during combined turn-climb maneuvers. The Doghouse Plot completely describes the turn-climb capability of an aircraft; a single plot demonstrates the relationship between

The Doghouse Plot visually represents an aircraft’s performance during combined turn-climb maneuvers. The Doghouse Plot completely describes the turn-climb capability of an aircraft; a single plot demonstrates the relationship between climb performance, turn rate, turn radius, stall margin, and bank angle. Using NASA legacy codes, Empirical Drag Estimation Technique (EDET) and Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS), it is possible to reverse engineer sufficient basis data for commercial and military aircraft to construct Doghouse Plots. Engineers and operators can then use these to assess their aircraft’s full performance envelope. The insight gained from these plots can broaden the understanding of an aircraft’s performance and, in turn, broaden the operational scope of some aircraft that would otherwise be limited by the simplifications found in their Airplane Flight Manuals (AFM). More importantly, these plots can build on the current standards of obstacle avoidance and expose risks in operation.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Modeling, design and control of multiple low-cost robotic ground vehicles

Description

Toward the ambitious long-term goal of a fleet of cooperating Flexible Autonomous Machines operating in an uncertain Environment (FAME), this thesis addresses several

critical modeling, design and control objectives for ground

Toward the ambitious long-term goal of a fleet of cooperating Flexible Autonomous Machines operating in an uncertain Environment (FAME), this thesis addresses several

critical modeling, design and control objectives for ground vehicles. One central objective was to show how off-the-shelf (low-cost) remote-control (RC) “toy” vehicles can be converted into intelligent multi-capability robotic-platforms for conducting FAME research. This is shown for two vehicle classes: (1) six differential-drive (DD) RC vehicles called Thunder Tumbler (DDTT) and (2) one rear-wheel drive (RWD) RC car called Ford F-150 (1:14 scale). Each DDTT-vehicle was augmented to provide a substantive suite of capabilities as summarized below (It should be noted, however, that only one DDTT-vehicle was augmented with an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and 2.4 GHz RC capability): (1) magnetic wheel-encoders/IMU for(dead-reckoning-based) inner-loop speed-control and outer-loop position-directional-control, (2) Arduino Uno microcontroller-board for encoder-based inner-loop speed-control and encoder-IMU-ultrasound-based outer-loop cruise-position-directional-separation-control, (3) Arduino motor-shield for inner-loop motor-speed-control, (4)Raspberry Pi II computer-board for demanding outer-loop vision-based cruise- position-directional-control, (5) Raspberry Pi 5MP camera for outer-loop cruise-position-directional-control (exploiting WiFi to send video back to laptop), (6) forward-pointing ultrasonic distance/rangefinder sensor for outer-loop separation-control, and (7) 2.4 GHz spread-spectrum RC capability to replace original 27/49 MHz RC. Each “enhanced”/ augmented DDTT-vehicle costs less than 􀀀175 but offers the capability of commercially available vehicles costing over 􀀀500. Both the Arduino and Raspberry are low-cost, well-supported (software wise) and easy-to-use. For the vehicle classes considered (i.e. DD, RWD), both kinematic and dynamical (planar xy) models are examined. Suitable nonlinear/linear-models are used to develop inner/outer-loopcontrol laws.

All demonstrations presented involve enhanced DDTT-vehicles; one the F-150; one a quadrotor. The following summarizes key hardware demonstrations: (1) cruise-control along line, (2) position-control along line (3) position-control along curve (4) planar (xy) Cartesian stabilization, (5) cruise-control along jagged line/curve, (6) vehicle-target spacing-control, (7) multi-robot spacing-control along line/curve, (8) tracking slowly-moving remote-controlled quadrotor, (9) avoiding obstacle while moving toward target, (10) RC F-150 followed by DDTT-vehicle. Hardware data/video is compared with, and corroborated by, model-based simulations. In short, many capabilities that are critical for reaching the longer-term FAME goal are demonstrated.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015