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Real-time motion planning and controls of docked mobile robots

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Title: Real-time motion planning and controls of docked mobile robots
Author: Lashkari, Negin
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Engineering
Advisor: Biglarbegian, Mohammad
Abstract: Multiple mobile robots have broad applications for performing tasks beyond the capability of individual robots such as search and rescue, surveillance, space exploration, and cooperative robotics. Often mobile robots are faced with real issues that might limit their functionality such as battery failure, limited transportation capacity, and lacking manoeuvrability to cross uneven surfaces. Mobile robots with docking capabilities can be beneficial to overcome the stated issues by increasing the transportation capacity, reducing the consumed energy, enhancing the mobility in rough terrains, and transferring powers amongst robots. Therefore, this thesis proposes novel approaches for motion control, collision avoidance, and formation control of docked mobile robots (DMR) by first developing a robust tracking controller for two-docked mobile robots, then developing novel motion planning and control methodologies for an extended system of DMR in dynamic environments, and finally designing a robust formation controller for a team of mobile robots that are able to dock to each other, maintain various formations and avoid collisions. The methodologies proposed in this thesis were shown through simulations, implementation in a virtual experimentation platform (V-REP) and experiment that can effectively navigate DMR systems when operating as: (i) a chain of docked modules to perform trajectory tracking and collision avoidance, and (ii) a team of docked and non-docked mobile robots to maintain/rebuild a formation, avoid collisions and dock to each other. The developed methodologies incorporate the dynamics of the system into account, are scalable, and are robust to system uncertainties. Also, they are computationally efficient, able to provide robots' safe motion, applicable to complex paths in dynamic environments, and can handle robots’ mass heterogeneity. In future, motion planning and control of DMR with more degrees of freedom, i.e., pitch or roll motions, can be investigated to further broaden the utility and applications of DMR.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/13019
Date: 2018-05


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