Matching Items (24)

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3D Printed Robotic Arm

Description

For those interested in the field of robotics, there are not many options to get your hands on a physical robot without paying a steep price. This is why the folks at BCN3D Technologies decided to design a fully open-source

For those interested in the field of robotics, there are not many options to get your hands on a physical robot without paying a steep price. This is why the folks at BCN3D Technologies decided to design a fully open-source 3D-printable robotic arm. Their goal was to reduce the barrier to entry for the field of robotics and make it exponentially more accessible for people around the world. For our honors thesis, we chose to take the design from BCN3D and attempt to build their robot, to see how accessible the design truly is. Although their designs were not perfect and we were forced to make some adjustments to the 3D files, overall the work put forth by the people at BCN3D was extremely useful in successfully building a robotic arm that is programmed with ease.

Contributors

Agent

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Date Created
2017-12

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Autonomous Racing: An Exploration of Localization, Waypoint Following, and Actuation for High-Speed Autonomous Vehicles

Description

The objective of this project was to research and experimentally test methods of localization, waypoint following, and actuation for high-speed driving by an autonomous vehicle. This thesis describes the implementation of LiDAR localization techniques, Model Predictive Control waypoint following, and

The objective of this project was to research and experimentally test methods of localization, waypoint following, and actuation for high-speed driving by an autonomous vehicle. This thesis describes the implementation of LiDAR localization techniques, Model Predictive Control waypoint following, and communication for actuation on a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, Arizona State University’s former EcoCAR. The LiDAR localization techniques include the NDT Mapping and Matching algorithms from the open-source autonomous vehicle platform, Autoware. The mapping algorithm was supplemented by that of Google Cartographer due to the limitations of map size in Autoware’s algorithms. The Model Predictive Control for waypoint following and the computer-microcontroller-actuator communication line are described. In addition to this experimental work, the thesis discusses an investigation of alternative approaches for each problem.

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Created

Date Created
2020-05

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Variable Damping Control of the Robotic Ankle Joint to Improve Trade-off between Agility and Stability

Description

This paper presents a variable damping controller that can be implemented into wearable and exoskeleton robots. The variable damping controller functions by providing different levels of robotic damping from negative to positive to the coupled human-robot system. The wearable ankle

This paper presents a variable damping controller that can be implemented into wearable and exoskeleton robots. The variable damping controller functions by providing different levels of robotic damping from negative to positive to the coupled human-robot system. The wearable ankle robot was used to test this control strategy in the different directions of motion. The range of damping applied was selected based on the known inherent damping of the human ankle, ensuring that the coupled system became positively damped, and therefore stable. Human experiments were performed to understand and quantify the effects of the variable damping controller on the human user. Within the study, the human subjects performed a target reaching exercise while the ankle robot provided the system with constant positive, constant negative, or variable damping. These three damping conditions could then be compared to analyze the performance of the system. The following performance measures were selected: maximum speed to quantify agility, maximum overshoot to quantify stability, and muscle activation to quantify effort required by the human user. Maximum speed was found to be statistically the same in the variable damping controller and the negative damping condition and to be increased from positive damping controller to variable damping condition by 57.9%, demonstrating the agility of the system. Maximum overshoot was found to significantly decrease overshoot from the negative damping condition to the variable damping controller by 39.6%, demonstrating an improvement in system stability with the variable damping controller. Muscle activation results showed that the variable damping controller required less effort than the positive damping condition, evidenced by the decreased muscle activation of 23.8%. Overall, the study demonstrated that a variable damping controller can balance the trade-off between agility and stability in human-robot interactions and therefore has many practical implications.

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Created

Date Created
2019-12

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Modeling and H-Infinity Loop Shaping Control of a Vertical Takeoff and Landing Drone

Description

VTOL drones were designed and built at the beginning of the 20th century for military applications due to easy take-off and landing operations. Many companies like Lockheed, Convair, NASA and Bell Labs built their own aircrafts but only a few

VTOL drones were designed and built at the beginning of the 20th century for military applications due to easy take-off and landing operations. Many companies like Lockheed, Convair, NASA and Bell Labs built their own aircrafts but only a few from them came in to the market. Usually, flight automation starts from first principles modeling which helps in the controller design and dynamic analysis of the system.

In this project, a VTOL drone with a shape similar to a Convair XFY-1 is studied and the primary focus is stabilizing and controlling the flight path of the drone in
its hover and horizontal flying modes. The model of the plane is obtained using first principles modeling and controllers are designed to stabilize the yaw, pitch and roll rotational motions.

The plane is modeled for its yaw, pitch and roll rotational motions. Subsequently, the rotational dynamics of the system are linearized about the hover flying mode, hover to horizontal flying mode, horizontal flying mode, horizontal to hover flying mode for ease of implementation of linear control design techniques. The controllers are designed based on an H∞ loop shaping procedure and the results are verified on the actual nonlinear model for the stability of the closed loop system about hover flying, hover to horizontal transition flying, horizontal flying, horizontal to hover transition flying. An experiment is conducted to study the dynamics of the motor by recording the PWM input to the electronic speed controller as input and the rotational speed of the motor as output. A theoretical study is also done to study the thrust generated by the propellers for lift, slipstream velocity analysis, torques acting on the system for various thrust profiles.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018

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Robotic Swarm Control using Deep Reinforcement Learning Strategies based on Mean-Field Models

Description

As technological advancements in silicon, sensors, and actuation continue, the development of robotic swarms is shifting from the domain of science fiction to reality. Many swarm applications, such as environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, disaster response, and lunar prospecting, will require

As technological advancements in silicon, sensors, and actuation continue, the development of robotic swarms is shifting from the domain of science fiction to reality. Many swarm applications, such as environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, disaster response, and lunar prospecting, will require controlling numerous robots with limited capabilities and information to redistribute among multiple states, such as spatial locations or tasks. A scalable control approach is to program the robots with stochastic control policies such that the robot population in each state evolves according to a mean-field model, which is independent of the number and identities of the robots. Using this model, the control policies can be designed to stabilize the swarm to the target distribution. To avoid the need to reprogram the robots for different target distributions, the robot control policies can be defined to depend only on the presence of a “leader” agent, whose control policy is designed to guide the swarm to a particular distribution. This dissertation presents a novel deep reinforcement learning (deep RL) approach to designing control policies that redistribute a swarm as quickly as possible over a strongly connected graph, according to a mean-field model in the form of the discrete-time Kolmogorov forward equation. In the leader-based strategies, the leader determines its next action based on its observations of robot populations and shepherds the swarm over the graph by probabilistically repelling nearby robots. The scalability of this approach with the swarm size is demonstrated with leader control policies that are designed using two tabular Temporal-Difference learning algorithms, trained on a discretization of the swarm distribution. To improve the scalability of the approach with robot population and graph size, control policies for both leader-based and leaderless strategies are designed using an actor-critic deep RL method that is trained on the swarm distribution predicted by the mean-field model. In the leaderless strategy, the robots’ control policies depend only on their local measurements of nearby robot populations. The control approaches are validated for different graph and swarm sizes in numerical simulations, 3D robot simulations, and experiments on a multi-robot testbed.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2021

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Game-theoretic Empathetic Parameter Estimation in Two-Vehicle Interaction

Description

Recent years, there has been many attempts with different approaches to the human-robot interaction (HRI) problems. In this paper, the multi-agent interaction is formulated as a differential game with incomplete information. To tackle this problem, the parameter estimation method is

Recent years, there has been many attempts with different approaches to the human-robot interaction (HRI) problems. In this paper, the multi-agent interaction is formulated as a differential game with incomplete information. To tackle this problem, the parameter estimation method is utilized to obtain the approximated solution in a real time basis. Previous studies in the parameter estimation made the assumption that the human parameters are known by the robot; but such may not be the case and there exists uncertainty in the modeling of the human rewards as well as human's modeling of the robot's rewards. The proposed method, empathetic estimation, is tested and compared with the ``non-empathetic'' estimation from the existing works. The case studies are conducted in an uncontrolled intersection with two agents attempting to pass efficiently. Results have shown that in the case of both agents having inconsistent belief of the other agent's parameters, the empathetic agent performs better at estimating the parameters and has higher reward values, which indicates the scenarios when empathy is essential: when agent's initial belief is mismatched from the true parameters/intent of the agents.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2021

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Data-Driven Abstraction and Model Discrimination Techniques with Applications to Intent Estimation of Autonomous Systems

Description

In this thesis, the problem of designing model discrimination algorithms for unknown nonlinear systems is considered, where only raw experimental data of the system is available. This kind of model discrimination techniques finds one of its application in the estimation

In this thesis, the problem of designing model discrimination algorithms for unknown nonlinear systems is considered, where only raw experimental data of the system is available. This kind of model discrimination techniques finds one of its application in the estimation of the system or intent models under consideration, where all incompatible models are invalidated using new data that is available at run time. The proposed steps to reach the end goal of the algorithm for intention estimation involves two steps: First, using available experimental data of system trajectories, optimization-based techniques are used to over-approximate/abstract the dynamics of the system by constructing an upper and lower function which encapsulates/frames the true unknown system dynamics. This over-approximation is a conservative preservation of the dynamics of the system, in a way that ensures that any model which is invalidated against this approximation is guaranteed to be invalidated with the actual model of the system. The next step involves the use of optimization-based techniques to investigate the distinguishability of pairs of abstraction/approximated models using an algorithm for 'T-Distinguishability', which gives a finite horizon time 'T', within which the pair of models are guaranteed to be distinguished, and to eliminate incompatible models at run time using a 'Model Invalidation' algorithm. Furthermore, due the large amount of data under consideration, some computation-aware improvements were proposed for the processing of the raw data and the abstraction and distinguishability algorithms.The effectiveness of the above-mentioned algorithms is demonstrated using two examples. The first uses the data collected from the artificial simulation of a swarm of agents, also known as 'Boids', that move in certain patterns/formations, while the second example uses the 'HighD' dataset of naturalistic trajectories recorded on German Highways for vehicle intention estimation.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2021

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Affine Abstraction of Nonlinear Systems with Applications to Active Model Discrimination

Description

This work considers the design of separating input signals in order to discriminate among a finite number of uncertain nonlinear models. Each nonlinear model corresponds to a system operating mode, unobserved intents of other drivers or robots, or to fault

This work considers the design of separating input signals in order to discriminate among a finite number of uncertain nonlinear models. Each nonlinear model corresponds to a system operating mode, unobserved intents of other drivers or robots, or to fault types or attack strategies, etc., and the separating inputs are designed such that the output trajectories of all the nonlinear models are guaranteed to be distinguishable from each other under any realization of uncertainties in the initial condition, model discrepancies or noise. I propose a two-step approach. First, using an optimization-based approach, we over-approximate nonlinear dynamics by uncertain affine models, as abstractions that preserve all its system behaviors such that any discrimination guarantees for the affine abstraction also hold for the original nonlinear system. Then, I propose a novel solution in the form of a mixed-integer linear program (MILP) to the active model discrimination problem for uncertain affine models, which includes the affine abstraction and thus, the nonlinear models. Finally, I demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach for identifying the intention of other vehicles in a highway lane changing scenario. For the abstraction, I explore two approaches. In the first approach, I construct the bounding planes using a Mixed-Integer Nonlinear Problem (MINLP) formulation of the given system with appropriately designed constraints. For the second approach, I solve a linear programming (LP) problem that over-approximates the nonlinear function at only the grid points of a mesh with a given resolution and then accounting for the entire domain via an appropriate correction term. To achieve a desired approximation accuracy, we also iteratively subdivide the domain into subregions. This method applies to nonlinear functions with different degrees of smoothness, including Lipschitz continuous functions, and improves on existing approaches by enabling the use of tighter bounds. Finally, we compare the effectiveness of this approach with the existing optimization-based methods in simulation and illustrate its applicability for estimator design.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018

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Cross Platform Training of Neural Networks to Enable Object Identification by Autonomous Vehicles

Description

Autonomous vehicle technology has been evolving for years since the Automated Highway System Project. However, this technology has been under increased scrutiny ever since an autonomous vehicle killed Elaine Herzberg, who was crossing the street in Tempe, Arizona in March

Autonomous vehicle technology has been evolving for years since the Automated Highway System Project. However, this technology has been under increased scrutiny ever since an autonomous vehicle killed Elaine Herzberg, who was crossing the street in Tempe, Arizona in March 2018. Recent tests of autonomous vehicles on public roads have faced opposition from nearby residents. Before these vehicles are widely deployed, it is imperative that the general public trusts them. For this, the vehicles must be able to identify objects in their surroundings and demonstrate the ability to follow traffic rules while making decisions with human-like moral integrity when confronted with an ethical dilemma, such as an unavoidable crash that will injure either a pedestrian or the passenger.

Testing autonomous vehicles in real-world scenarios would pose a threat to people and property alike. A safe alternative is to simulate these scenarios and test to ensure that the resulting programs can work in real-world scenarios. Moreover, in order to detect a moral dilemma situation quickly, the vehicle should be able to identify objects in real-time while driving. Toward this end, this thesis investigates the use of cross-platform training for neural networks that perform visual identification of common objects in driving scenarios. Here, the object detection algorithm Faster R-CNN is used. The hypothesis is that it is possible to train a neural network model to detect objects from two different domains, simulated or physical, using transfer learning. As a proof of concept, an object detection model is trained on image datasets extracted from CARLA, a virtual driving environment, via transfer learning. After bringing the total loss factor to 0.4, the model is evaluated with an IoU metric. It is determined that the model has a precision of 100% and 75% for vehicles and traffic lights respectively. The recall is found to be 84.62% and 75% for the same. It is also shown that this model can detect the same classes of objects from other virtual environments and real-world images. Further modifications to the algorithm that may be required to improve performance are discussed as future work.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019

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Design of an Immersive Virtual Environment to Investigate How Different Drivers Crash in Trolley-Problem Scenarios

Description

The Autonomous Vehicle (AV), also known as self-driving car, promises to be a game changer for the transportation industry. This technology is predicted to drastically reduce the number of traffic fatalities due to human error [21].

However, road driving at

The Autonomous Vehicle (AV), also known as self-driving car, promises to be a game changer for the transportation industry. This technology is predicted to drastically reduce the number of traffic fatalities due to human error [21].

However, road driving at any reasonable speed involves some risks. Therefore, even with high-tech AV algorithms and sophisticated sensors, there may be unavoidable crashes due to imperfection of the AV systems, or unexpected encounters with wildlife, children and pedestrians. Whenever there is a risk involved, there is the need for an ethical decision to be made [33].

While ethical and moral decision-making in humans has long been studied by experts, the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) also calls for machine ethics. To study the different moral and ethical decisions made by humans, experts may use the Trolley Problem [34], which is a scenario where one must pull a switch near a trolley track to redirect the trolley to kill one person on the track or do nothing, which will result in the deaths of five people. While it is important to take into account the input of members of a society and perform studies to understand how humans crash during unavoidable accidents to help program moral and ethical decision-making into self-driving cars, using the classical trolley problem is not ideal, as it is unrealistic and does not represent moral situations that people face in the real world.

This work seeks to increase the realism of the classical trolley problem for use in studies on moral and ethical decision-making by simulating realistic driving conditions in an immersive virtual environment with unavoidable crash scenarios, to investigate how drivers crash during these scenarios. Chapter 1 gives an in-depth background into autonomous vehicles and relevant ethical and moral problems; Chapter 2 describes current state-of-the-art online tools and simulators that were developed to study moral decision-making during unavoidable crashes. Chapters 3 focuses on building the simulator and the design of the crash scenarios. Chapter 4 describes human subjects experiments that were conducted with the simulator and their results, and Chapter 5 provides conclusions and avenues for future work.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019