Mobile Robot Platform Development

OData support
Dr. Kovácsházy Tamás
Department of Measurement and Information Systems

In this thesis, I will be presenting the specifics of developing and designing a mobile

robot platform from the ground up.

Before this, I will review a couple of readily available and popular mobile robot sys-

tems. As opposed to their centralised monolithic architecture, I will propose a different

approach, a decentralised one.

To demonstrate this architectural concept, I have designed a rover consisting of three dis-

tinct modules and a chassis. The modules work autonomously and separately. I designed

the motor controllers first, which achieve sensorless closed-loop speed control based on

back-EMF. To orchestrate these controllers, a central processing unit is needed with

the ability to measure its own attitude and heading to support an eventual autonomous

driving application. For the robot to move freely in its environment, these modules have

to be battery powered, therefore the third module is responsible for providing power

and also for protecting and charging the batteries. In my thesis, I will demonstrate the

conceptual, schematic and printed circuit board designs of each module. To house these

devices, a chassis was designed utilizing the rocker-bogie suspension system used on the

Mars rovers. This structure consists of 3D printed parts, which are assembled and held

together with off-the-shelf tighteners.

To utilize and demonstrate the capabilities of the mobile robot prototype, I wrote

firmwares for the central unit and the motor controllers as well as a high-level control

application which handles the correct Ackermann-steering and position estimation of the

rover. This application was implemented in Simulink and included into the software

framework via code generation.

However, the main focus of this work was to learn and acquire new skills and knowledge

through the project.


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