A Software Framework for Control of UGVs in Complex Terrain

H. Li, J. Collier, M. Trentini, and B. Beckman (Canada)


UGV, MIRO, Vortex, Framework, Fuzzy control


Complex control of multiple degree-of-freedom robots is presently conducted off-line with contrived terrain models that are known a priori. In this paper, a novel robot control framework is presented that incorporates realtime sensor data in a physics-based simulation environment, called Vortex, where complex control behaviours can be executed and analyzed. Range and pose sensor data are accumulated in a terrain map used by Vortex to create the sensed environment. A robot model is placed in this environment using the current robot pose. An external controller is then used to control the robot model. Trials of candidate control sequences can be evaluated in the sensed environment before an optimal control sequence is sent to the real robot. A fuzzy controller is presented that demonstrates low level control using a portion of the proposed framework to control the Micro Hydraulic Toolkit, a wheeled quadruped robot. Simulations of the Micro Hydraulic Toolkit traversing complex terrain by overcoming obstacles in its path are presented to assess the system architecture and controller performance. Finally, future controller synthesis and model validation schemes are discussed.

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