Hardware and software development of mobile robots

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Dr. Harmati István
Department of Control Engineering and Information Technology

In my thesis work I developed and upgraded a multi agent hockey robotic system, which can be found at the laboratory of the department. The goal was to upgrade and develop both the hardware and the software of the robots which were all completely inoperable at the start of my work. The system consists three different type robots, whose control panels were different and they also had different type of propulsion. The high level control is realized by a main personal computer which follows the three robot via passive markers and a central mounted camera. The propulsion systems are the following: one is an omnidirectional, one has differential propulsion and the last is called a skater robot. The last has two propelled wheels but also has two motor for rotating the propelled wheels around their horizontal axis. In the first phase of my thesis work I developed the robots in all mechatronic aspects to an operable state. Next the new, general purpose controlling panel developed earlier by the department had been mounted to the robots replacing the old ones. In later development this proved to be insufficient and not ideal, thus an upgrade to Arduino Uno control panels was necessary. Furthermore I needed to build omni wheels plus search and implement new, stronger motors for the skater robot while build the robots cabling and overall mechanics. During the work with the skater robot I analysed the possibility of unlimited revolutions and the possible solutions for position sensing and signal transmission (including building the slip ring) needed for that. As the result of my analysis I discarded this upgrade due to high noise and other feasibility problems. At the end of the hardware development I constructed the 3D models and also the technical documentation for each robot. As the software development I programmed the Arduino's to achieve a complex and general low level control while preparing the system for further, high level control development by other students. As part of this last goal I developed a MATLAB program which realizes a simple path planning control. At the end of my work the three robots are awaiting for high level control and further research of their propulsion and possibilities.


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