Traction Control Study for a Scaled Automated Robotic Car

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Virginia Tech

This thesis presents the use of sliding mode control applied to a 1/10th scale robotic car to operate at a desired slip. Controlling the robot car at any desired slip has a direct relation to the amount of force that is applied to the driving wheels based on road surface conditions. For this model, the desired traction/slip is maintained for a specific surface which happens to be a Lego treadmill platform. How the platform evolved and the robot car was designed are also covered.

To parameterize the system dynamics, simulated annealing is used to find the minimal error between mathematical simulations and physical test results. Also discussed is how the robot car and microprocessor can be modeled as a hybrid system. The results from testing the robot car at various desired percent slip show that it is possible to control the slip dynamics of a 1/10th scale automated robotic car and thus pave the way for further studies using scaled model cars to test an automated highway system.

sliding mode control, automated robotic car, simulated annealing, traction