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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2020

Haojie Zhang, Yudong Zhang and Tiantian Yang

As wheeled mobile robots find increasing use in outdoor applications, it becomes more important to reduce energy consumption to perform more missions efficiently with…

Abstract

Purpose

As wheeled mobile robots find increasing use in outdoor applications, it becomes more important to reduce energy consumption to perform more missions efficiently with limit energy supply. The purpose of this paper is to survey the current state-of-the-art on energy-efficient motion planning (EEMP) for wheeled mobile robots.

Design/methodology/approach

The use of wheeled mobile robots has been increased to replace humans in performing risky missions in outdoor applications, and the requirement of motion planning with efficient energy consumption is necessary. This study analyses a lot of motion planning technologies in terms of energy efficiency for wheeled mobile robots from 2000 to present. The dynamic constraints play a key role in EEMP problem, which derive the power model related to energy consumption. The surveyed approaches differ in the used steering mechanisms for wheeled mobile robots, in assumptions on the structure of the environment and in computational requirements. The comparison among different EEMP methods is proposed in optimal, computation time and completeness.

Findings

According to lots of literature in EEMP problem, the research results can be roughly divided into online real-time optimization and offline optimization. The energy consumption is considered during online real-time optimization, which is computationally expensive and time-consuming. The energy consumption model is used to evaluate the candidate motions offline and to obtain the optimal energy consumption motion. Sometimes, this optimization method may cause local minimal problem and even fail to track. Therefore, integrating the energy consumption model into the online motion planning will be the research trend of EEMP problem, and more comprehensive approach to EEMP problem is presented.

Research limitations/implications

EEMP is closely related to robot’s dynamic constraints. This paper mainly surveyed in EEMP problem for differential steered, Ackermann-steered, skid-steered and omni-directional steered robots. Other steering mechanisms of wheeled mobile robots are not discussed in this study.

Practical implications

The survey of performance of various EEMP serves as a reference for robots with different steering mechanisms using in special scenarios.

Originality/value

This paper analyses a lot of motion planning technologies in terms of energy efficiency for wheeled mobile robots from 2000 to present.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 47 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2018

Dilong Chen, Qiang Lu, Dongliang Peng, Ke Yin, Chaoliang Zhong and Ting Shi

The purpose of this paper is to propose a receding horizon control approach for the problem of locating unknown wireless sensor networks by using a mobile robot.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a receding horizon control approach for the problem of locating unknown wireless sensor networks by using a mobile robot.

Design/methodology/approach

A control framework is used and consists of two levels: one is a decision level, while the other is a control level. In the decision level, a spatiotemporal probability occupancy grid method is used to give the possible positions of all nodes in sensor networks, where the posterior probability distributions of sensor nodes are estimated by capturing the transient signals. In the control level, a virtual robot is designed to move along the edge of obstacles such that the problem of obstacle avoidance can be transformed into a coordination problem of multiple robots. On the basis of the possible positions of sensor nodes and virtual robots, a receding horizon control approach is proposed to control mobile robots to locate sensor nodes, where a temporary target position method is utilized to avoid several special obstacles.

Findings

When the number of obstacles increases, the average localization errors between the actual locations and the estimated locations significantly increase.

Originality/value

The proposed control approach can guide the mobile robot to avoid obstacles and deal with the corresponding dynamical events so as to locate all sensor nodes for an unknown wireless network.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 28 June 2011

David Sanders, Giles Tewkesbury, Ian J. Stott and David Robinson

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how to make tele‐operated tasks easier using an expert system to interpret joystick and sensor data.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how to make tele‐operated tasks easier using an expert system to interpret joystick and sensor data.

Design/methodology/approach

Current tele‐operated systems tend to rely heavily on visual feedback and experienced operators. Simple expert systems improve the interaction between an operator and a tele‐operated mobilerobot using ultrasonic sensors. Systems identify potentially hazardous situations and recommend safe courses of action. Because pairs of tests and results took place, it was possible to use a paired‐samples statistical test.

Findings

Results are presented from a series of timed tasks completed by tele‐operators using a joystick to control a mobilerobot via an umbilical cable. Tele‐operators completed tests both with and without sensors and with and without the new expert system and using a recently published system to compare results. The t‐test was used to compare the means of the samples in the results.

Research limitations/implications

Time taken to complete a tele‐operated task with a mobilerobot partly depends on how a human operator interacts with the mobilerobot. Information about the environment was restricted and more effective control of the mobilerobot could have been achieved if more information about the environment had been available, especially in tight spaces. With more information available for analysis, the central processor could have had tighter control of robot movements. Simple joysticks were used for the test and they could be replaced by more complicated haptic devices. Finally, each individual set of tests was not necessarily statistically significant so that caution was required before generalising the results.

Practical implications

The new systems described here consistently performed tasks more quickly than simple tele‐operated systems with or without sensors to assist. The paper also suggests that the amount of sensor support should be varied depending on circumstances. The paired samples test was used because people (tele‐operators) were inherently variable. Pairing removed much of that random variability. When results were analysed using a paired‐samples statistical test then results were statistically significant. The new systems described in this paper were significantly better at p<0.05 (95 per cent probability that this result would not occur by chance alone).

Originality/value

The paper shows that the new system performed every test faster on average than a recently published system used to compare the results.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2014

Qing Tang

The purpose of this paper is to design the localization and tracking algorithms for our mobile welding robot to carry out the large steel structure welding operations in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to design the localization and tracking algorithms for our mobile welding robot to carry out the large steel structure welding operations in industrial environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Extended Kalman filter, considering the bicycle-modeled robot, is adopted in the localization algorithm. The position and orientation of our mobile welding robot is estimated using the feedback of the laser sensor and the robot motion commands history. A backstepping variable is involved in the tracking algorithm. By introducing a specifically selected Lyapunov function, we proved the tracking algorithm using Barbalat Lemma, which leads the errors of estimated robot states to converge to zero.

Findings

The experiments show that the proposed localization method is fast and accurate and the tracking algorithm is robust to track straight lines, circles and other typical industrial curve shapes. The proposed localization and tracking algorithm could be used, but not limited to the mobile welding.

Originality/value

Localization problem which is neglected in previous research is very important in mobile welding. The proposed localization algorithm could estimate the robot states timely and accurately, and no additional sensors are needed. Furthermore, using the estimated robot states, we proposed and proved a tracking algorithm for bicycle-modeled mobile robots which could be used in welding as well as other industrial operation scenarios.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 41 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2010

David A. Sanders, Jasper Graham‐Jones and Alexander Gegov

The purpose of this paper is to describe the use of simple expert systems to improve the performance of tele‐operated mobile robots and ultrasonic sensor systems. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the use of simple expert systems to improve the performance of tele‐operated mobile robots and ultrasonic sensor systems. The expert systems interpret data from the joystick and sensors and identify potentially hazardous situations and then recommend safe courses of action so that tele‐operated mobilerobot tasks can be completed more quickly.

Design/methodology/approach

The speed of a tele‐operator in completing progressively more complicated driving tasks is investigated while using a simple expert system. Tele‐operators were timed completing a series of tasks using a joystick to control a mobile robot through a simple expert system that assisted them with driving the robot while using ultrasonic sensors to avoid obstacles. They either watched the robot while operating it or sat at a computer and viewed scenes remotely on a screen from a camera mounted on the robot. Tele‐operators completed tests with the simple expert system and the sensors connected. The system used an umbilical cable to connect to the robot.

Findings

The simple expert systems consistently performed faster than the other systems. Results are compared with the most recently published results and show a significant improvement. In addition, in simple environments, tele‐operators performed better without a sensor system to assist them but in more complicated environments than tele‐operators performed better with the sensor systems to assist.

Research limitations/implications

Simple expert systems are shown to improve the operation of a tele‐operated mobile robot with an obstacle avoidance systems fitted.

Practical implications

Tele‐operated systems rely heavily on visual feedback and experienced operators. This paper investigates how to make tasks easier. Simple expert systems are shown to improve the operation of a tele‐operated mobile robot. The paper also suggests that the amount of sensor support should be varied depending on circumstances.

Originality/value

The simple expert systems are shown in this paper to improve the operation of a tele‐operated mobile robot. Tele‐operators completed tests with the simple expert system and the sensors connected. The results are compared with a tele‐operator driving a mobile robot without any assistance from the expert systems or sensors and they show a significant improvement.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 31 July 2009

David Sanders

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect on time to complete a task depending on how a human operator interacts with a mobilerobot. Interaction is…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect on time to complete a task depending on how a human operator interacts with a mobilerobot. Interaction is investigated using two tele‐operated mobilerobot systems, three different ways of interacting with robots and several different environments. The speed of a tele‐operator in completing progressively more complicated driving tasks is investigated also.

Design/methodology/approach

Tele‐operators are timed completing a series of tasks using a joystick to control a mobilerobot. They either watch the robot while operating it, or sit at a computer and view scenes remotely on a screen. Cameras are either mounted on the robot, or so that they view both the environment and robot. Tele‐operators complete tests both with and without sensors. One robot system uses an umbilical cable and one uses a radio link.

Findings

In simple environments, a tele‐operator may perform better without a sensor system to assist them but in more complicated environments then a tele‐operator may perform better with a sensor system to assist. Tele‐operators may also tend to perform better with a radio link than with an umbilical connection. Tele‐operators sometimes perform better with a camera mounted on the robot compared with pre‐mounted cameras observing the environment (but that depends on tasks being performed).

Research limitations/implications

Tele‐operated systems rely heavily on visual feedback and experienced operators. This paper investigates how to make tasks easier.

Practical implications

The paper suggests that the amount of sensor support should be varied depending on circumstances.

Originality/value

Results show that human tele‐operators perform better without the assistance of a sensor systems in simple environments.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 January 2010

David Sanders

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect on completion of mobilerobot tasks depending on how a human tele‐operator interacts with a sensor system and a mobilerobot.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect on completion of mobilerobot tasks depending on how a human tele‐operator interacts with a sensor system and a mobilerobot.

Design/methodology/approach

Interaction is investigated using two mobilerobot systems, three different ways of interacting with the robots and several different environments of increasing complexity. In each case, the operation is investigated with and without sensor systems to assist an operator to move a robot through narrower and narrower gaps and in completing progressively more complicated driving tasks. Tele‐operators used a joystick and either watched the robot while operating it, or sat at a computer and viewed scenes remotely on a screen. Cameras are either mounted on the robot to view the space ahead of the robot or mounted remotely so that they viewed both the environment and robot. Every test is compared with sensor systems engaged and with them disconnected.

Findings

A main conclusion is that human tele‐operators perform better without the assistance of sensor systems in simple environments and in those cases it may be better to switch‐off the sensor systems or reduce their effect. In addition, tele‐operators sometimes performed better with a camera mounted on the robot compared with pre‐mounted cameras observing the environment (but that depended on tasks being performed).

Research limitations/implications

Tele‐operators completed tests both with and without sensors. One robot system used an umbilical cable and one used a radio link.

Practical implications

The paper quantifies the difference between tele‐operation control and sensor‐assisted control when a robot passes through narrow passages. This could be an useful information when system designers decide if a system should be tele‐operated, automatic or sensor‐assisted. The paper suggests that in simple environments then the amount of sensor support should be small but in more complicated environments then more sensor support needs to be provided.

Originality/value

The paper investigates the effect of completing mobilerobot tasks depending on whether a human tele‐operator uses a sensor system or not and how they interact with the sensor system and the mobilerobot. The paper presents the results from investigations using two mobilerobot systems, three different ways of interacting with the robots and several different environments of increasing complexity. The change in the ability of a human operator to complete progressively more complicated driving tasks with and without a sensor system is presented and the human tele‐operators performed better without the assistance of sensor systems in simple environments.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Chung-Hsun Sun, Sheng-Kai Huang, Hsuan Chen, Cheng-Wei Ye, Yin-Tien Wang and Wen-June Wang

Based on laser-range-finder (LRF) sensing, the control design of location and orientation stabilization for the mobile robot is investigated. However, the practical…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on laser-range-finder (LRF) sensing, the control design of location and orientation stabilization for the mobile robot is investigated. However, the practical limitation of the LRF sensing is usually ignored in the control design, which leads to incorrect localization and unexpected control results. The purpose of this study is to design the fuzzy controller subject to the practical limitation on the LRF-based localization for a differentially driven wheeled mobile robot.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the Takagi–Sugeno (T-S) fuzzy model is derived from the polar kinematic model of a differentially driven mobile robot. Then, the fuzzy controller is designed to the derived T-S fuzzy kinematic model in accordance with the Lyapunov stabilization theorem. The derived Lyapunov stabilization conditions for the fuzzy control design are expressed as the linear matrix inequality (LMI) form and effectively solved by LMI tools. The practical limitation on the LRF-based localization is also expressed as the LMI form and simultaneously solved with the control design.

Finding

The location and posture stabilization experiments are carried out on a mobile robot with LRF-based localization to prove the effectiveness of the proposed T-S fuzzy model-based control design. Furthermore, the ground truth experiment evaluates the accuracy of LRF-based localization.

Originality/value

The contribution of this study is to develop the fuzzy control law for a differentially driven wheeled mobile robot under the practical limitation on LRF-based localization. The proposed control design can be applied to other robots with practical limitations on the sensors.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2018

Qifeng Yang, Daokui Qu, Fang Xu, Fengshan Zou, Guojian He and Mingze Sun

This paper aims to propose a series of approaches to solve the problem of the mobile robot motion control and autonomous navigation in large-scale outdoor GPS-denied environments.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a series of approaches to solve the problem of the mobile robot motion control and autonomous navigation in large-scale outdoor GPS-denied environments.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the model of mobile robot with two driving wheels, a controller is designed and tested in obstacle-cluttered scenes in this paper. By using the priori “topology-geometry” map constructed based on the odometer data and the online matching algorithm of 3D-laser scanning points, a novel approach of outdoor localization with 3D-laser scanner is proposed to solve the problem of poor localization accuracy in GPS-denied environments. A path planning strategy based on geometric feature analysis and priority evaluation algorithm is also adopted to ensure the safety and reliability of mobile robot’s autonomous navigation and control.

Findings

A series of experiments are conducted with a self-designed mobile robot platform in large-scale outdoor environments, and the experimental results show the validity and effectiveness of the proposed approach.

Originality/value

The problem of motion control for a differential drive mobile robot is investigated in this paper first. At the same time, a novel approach of outdoor localization with 3D-laser scanner is proposed to solve the problem of poor localization accuracy in GPS-denied environments. A path planning strategy based on geometric feature analysis and priority evaluation algorithm is also adopted to ensure the safety and reliability of mobile robot’s autonomous navigation and control.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2013

Luis Emmi, Leonel Paredes‐Madrid, Angela Ribeiro, Gonzalo Pajares and Pablo Gonzalez‐de‐Santos

The purpose of this paper is to propose going one step further in the simulation tools related to agriculture by integrating fleets of mobile robots for the execution of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose going one step further in the simulation tools related to agriculture by integrating fleets of mobile robots for the execution of precision agriculture techniques. The proposed new simulation environment allows the user to define different mobiles robots and agricultural implements.

Design/methodology/approach

With this computational tool, the crop field, the fleet of robots and the different sensors and actuators that are incorporated into each robot can be configured by means of two interfaces: a configuration interface and a graphical interface, which interact with each other.

Findings

The system presented in this article unifies two very different areas – robotics and agriculture – to study and evaluate the implementation of precision agriculture techniques in a 3D virtual world. The simulation environment allows the users to represent realistic characteristics from a defined location and to model different variabilities that may affect the task performance accuracy of the fleet of robots.

Originality/value

This simulation environment, the first in incorporating fleets of heterogeneous mobile robots, provides realistic 3D simulations and videos, which grant a good representation and a better understanding of the robot labor in agricultural activities for researchers and engineers from different areas, who could be involved in the design and application of precision agriculture techniques. The environment is available at the internet, which is an added value for its expansion in the agriculture/robotics family.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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