Design and Development of a Novel Reconfigurable Wheeled Robot for Off-Road Applications
Attia, Tamer Said Abdelzaher
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Autonomous navigation with high speed in rough terrain is one of the most challenging tasks for wheeled robots. To achieve mobility over this terrain, a high agility wheeled robot should adapt and react fast to optimally traverse this challenging environment. Therefore, this dissertation is geared towards the design and development of a novel reconfigurable wheeled robot paradigm for rough terrain applications. This research focuses on the design, modeling, analysis and control of the reconfigurable wheeled robot, TIGER, with an elastic actuated mechanism for improving the robot's dynamic stability on rough terrain by controlling the robot's ground clearance, body roll and pitch angles. The elastic actuated mechanism mainly consists of a linear actuator connected in series with a shock absorber. Four sets of the elastic actuated mechanism are used to create different robot configurations to adapt to the terrain. Three main aspects were considered in this research in order to extend the ability of the robot to effectively navigate in rough terrain. The first aspect focuses on designing an agile reconfigurable wheeled robot by including an elastic actuated mechanism for improving maneuverability, longitudinal/lateral stability, and rollover prevention. Robot agility, stability, and high speed have been considered during the design process. The new design provides different configuration modes. These configurations allow for controlling the robot's Center Of Mass (COM) height and optimally distribute the vertical force on each tire for enhancing the tractive efficiency, mobility and dynamic stability. The second aspect presents the robot kinematic and dynamic modeling and analysis. The robot dynamics model is represented with fourteen degrees of freedom (DOF), where the dynamic behaviors of the robot body, suspension system, forces and moments on the tires are included. The dynamic behavior is controlled using the linear actuators' position and speed as inputs to determine the resulting ground clearance, body roll, and pitch angles. Sensors are integrated onboard the robot to calculate the robot's states in real time for use in feedback control. The third aspect focuses on introducing a technique for estimating the robot state-space dynamic model and control the Elastic Actuated Mechanism (EAM) using only a noisy Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) with COM position uncertainty. The simulation results show that the observer estimates the actual behavior of the robot with 95% accuracy and up to 20% COM uncertainty. The Root Mean Square (RMS) has been reduced by 21% for bounce, 51% for pitch and 50% for roll acceleration.
- Doctoral Dissertations