The development of a remotely piloted vehicle (RPV) with real-time position measurement (RtPM) for hazardous waste site characterization
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This research was initiated to investigate the application of mobile robotics to hazardous waste site characterization, with the specific emphasis of employing the laser-based positioning measurement system developed by Spatial Positioning Systems, inc. (SPSi) for tracking a mobile robot and geographically tagging collected environmental data. The two specific objectives of this work were to design and construct a remotely piloted robotic system which could enter a simulated hazardous waste site and perform some aspect of initial characterization sampling, and to perform a feasibility study on the use of the SPSi system for outdoor mobile robot tracking.
A Honda all-terrain vehicle was converted to a robotic test platform incorporating the SPSi system for positioning and a magnetometer for environmental sensing. The digitally-sampled magnetometer output was geographically tagged with sensor position, and transmitted to a remote computer for display and storage. Although the mechanics of integrating the SPSi system and an environmental sensor on a mobile robot were demonstrated, survey attempts with the mobile robot were unsuccessful because the SPSi system was unable to track the robot's movements outdoors on the simulated hazardous waste site. Tracking capability up to a limiting velocity of approximately 0.35 mls (0.8 mph) was demonstrated with the SPSi system. This restrictive limiting velocity as well as various errors later discovered in SPSi's tracking algorithm prevented a successful implementation of the positioning system on the robot.
- Masters Theses