Developing Android-based Autonomous Mobile Robot

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Kundra László János
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

The spreading of mobile robots is getting more significant nowadays. This is due to their ability to perform tasks that are dangerous, uncomfortable or impossible to people. The mobile robot must be endowed with a wide variety of sensors (cameras, microphones, proximity sensors, etc.) and processing units that makes them able to navigate in their environment. This generally carried out with unique, small series produced and thus expensive equipment. This paper describes the design, construction and programming experience, of a mobile robot with a control unit integrating the processing and the main sensor functionalities into one mass produced device, an Android smartphone.

The robot should be able to perform tasks such as tracking colored objects or human faces and orient itself. In the meantime, it does not hit obstacles and keep the distance between the target and itself. Be able to communicate with humans.

The key issue of the development was to establish communications between the phone and the robot. Considering various possibilities, an IOIO panel was chosen and manifactured. Relation to the physical structure of the robot, direct and inverse kinematics tasks were formulated and derived.

The control implementations of the robot are based on image processing algorithms, which are described in this paper together with obstacle avoidance, hardware and software solutions. Finally, the two-way verbal communication will be presented.

During the development, a functional autonomous robot described above was made. Simultaneous running of all the developed functions results phase shift on the real-time behavior. The use of smartphones in robotic applications can extend the capabilities of robots compared to conventional embedded systems. However, with mid-range phones the response time of the system will be too long. Higher-end smartphones can extend the embedded computers of mobile robots by taking advantages of all benefits of mass production and open source in the aspects of costs, software and hardware development.


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