Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 170

Search results for: robots

170 An Application of Path Planning Algorithms for Autonomous Inspection of Buried Pipes with Swarm Robots

Authors: Richard Molyneux, Christopher Parrott, Kirill Horoshenkov

Abstract:

This paper aims to demonstrate how various algorithms can be implemented within swarms of autonomous robots to provide continuous inspection within underground pipeline networks. Current methods of fault detection within pipes are costly, time consuming and inefficient. As such, solutions tend toward a more reactive approach, repairing faults, as opposed to proactively seeking leaks and blockages. The paper presents an efficient inspection method, showing that autonomous swarm robotics is a viable way of monitoring underground infrastructure. Tailored adaptations of various Vehicle Routing Problems (VRP) and path-planning algorithms provide a customised inspection procedure for complicated networks of underground pipes. The performance of multiple algorithms is compared to determine their effectiveness and feasibility. Notable inspirations come from ant colonies and stigmergy, graph theory, the k-Chinese Postman Problem ( -CPP) and traffic theory. Unlike most swarm behaviours which rely on fast communication between agents, underground pipe networks are a highly challenging communication environment with extremely limited communication ranges. This is due to the extreme variability in the pipe conditions and relatively high attenuation of acoustic and radio waves with which robots would usually communicate. This paper illustrates how to optimise the inspection process and how to increase the frequency with which the robots pass each other, without compromising the routes they are able to take to cover the whole network.

Keywords: Autonomous inspection, buried pipes, stigmergy, swarm intelligence, vehicle routing problem.

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169 Combined Model Predictive Controller Technique for Enhancing NAO Gait Stabilization

Authors: Brahim Brahmi, Mohammed Hamza Laraki, Mohammad Habibur Rahman, Islam M. Rasedul, M. Assad Uz-Zaman

Abstract:

The humanoid robot, specifically the NAO robot must be able to provide a highly dynamic performance on the soccer field. Maintaining the balance of the humanoid robot during the required motion is considered as one of a challenging problems especially when the robot is subject to external disturbances, as contact with other robots. In this paper, a dynamic controller is proposed in order to ensure a robust walking (stabilization) and to improve the dynamic balance of the robot during its contact with the environment (external disturbances). The generation of the trajectory of the center of mass (CoM) is done by a model predictive controller (MPC) conjoined with zero moment point (ZMP) technique. Taking into account the properties of the rotational dynamics of the whole-body system, a modified previous control mixed with feedback control is employed to manage the angular momentum and the CoM’s acceleration, respectively. This latter is dedicated to provide a robust gait of the robot in the presence of the external disturbances. Simulation results are presented to show the feasibility of the proposed strategy.

Keywords: Preview control, walking, stabilization, humanoid robot.

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168 Development of Tools for Multi Vehicles Simulation with Robot Operating System and ArduPilot

Authors: Pierre Kancir, Jean-Philippe Diguet, Marc Sevaux

Abstract:

One of the main difficulties in developing multi-robot systems (MRS) is related to the simulation and testing tools available. Indeed, if the differences between simulations and real robots are too significant, the transition from the simulation to the robot won’t be possible without another long development phase and won’t permit to validate the simulation. Moreover, the testing of different algorithmic solutions or modifications of robots requires a strong knowledge of current tools and a significant development time. Therefore, the availability of tools for MRS, mainly with flying drones, is crucial to enable the industrial emergence of these systems. This research aims to present the most commonly used tools for MRS simulations and their main shortcomings and presents complementary tools to improve the productivity of designers in the development of multi-vehicle solutions focused on a fast learning curve and rapid transition from simulations to real usage. The proposed contributions are based on existing open source tools as Gazebo simulator combined with ROS (Robot Operating System) and the open-source multi-platform autopilot ArduPilot to bring them to a broad audience.

Keywords: ROS, ArduPilot, MRS, simulation, drones, Gazebo.

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167 An Improved Dynamic Window Approach with Environment Awareness for Local Obstacle Avoidance of Mobile Robots

Authors: Baoshan Wei, Shuai Han, Xing Zhang

Abstract:

Local obstacle avoidance is critical for mobile robot navigation. It is a challenging task to ensure path optimality and safety in cluttered environments. We proposed an Environment Aware Dynamic Window Approach in this paper to cope with the issue. The method integrates environment characterization into Dynamic Window Approach (DWA). Two strategies are proposed in order to achieve the integration. The local goal strategy guides the robot to move through openings before approaching the final goal, which solves the local minima problem in DWA. The adaptive control strategy endows the robot to adjust its state according to the environment, which addresses path safety compared with DWA. Besides, the evaluation shows that the path generated from the proposed algorithm is safer and smoother compared with state-of-the-art algorithms.

Keywords: Adaptive control, dynamic window approach, environment aware, local obstacle avoidance, mobile robots.

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166 Path-Tracking Controller for Tracked Mobile Robot on Rough Terrain

Authors: Toshifumi Hiramatsu, Satoshi Morita, Manuel Pencelli, Marta Niccolini, Matteo Ragaglia, Alfredo Argiolas

Abstract:

Automation technologies for agriculture field are needed to promote labor-saving. One of the most relevant problems in automated agriculture is represented by controlling the robot along a predetermined path in presence of rough terrain or incline ground. Unfortunately, disturbances originating from interaction with the ground, such as slipping, make it quite difficult to achieve the required accuracy. In general, it is required to move within 5-10 cm accuracy with respect to the predetermined path. Moreover, lateral velocity caused by gravity on the incline field also affects slipping. In this paper, a path-tracking controller for tracked mobile robots moving on rough terrains of incline field such as vineyard is presented. The controller is composed of a disturbance observer and an adaptive controller based on the kinematic model of the robot. The disturbance observer measures the difference between the measured and the reference yaw rate and linear velocity in order to estimate slip. Then, the adaptive controller adapts “virtual” parameter of the kinematics model: Instantaneous Centers of Rotation (ICRs). Finally, target angular velocity reference is computed according to the adapted parameter. This solution allows estimating the effects of slip without making the model too complex. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed solution is tested in a simulation environment.

Keywords: Agricultural robot, autonomous control, path-tracking control, tracked mobile robot.

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165 Algorithm for Path Recognition in-between Tree Rows for Agricultural Wheeled-Mobile Robots

Authors: Anderson Rocha, Pedro Miguel de Figueiredo Dinis Oliveira Gaspar

Abstract:

Machine vision has been widely used in recent years in agriculture, as a tool to promote the automation of processes and increase the levels of productivity. The aim of this work is the development of a path recognition algorithm based on image processing to guide a terrestrial robot in-between tree rows. The proposed algorithm was developed using the software MATLAB, and it uses several image processing operations, such as threshold detection, morphological erosion, histogram equalization and the Hough transform, to find edge lines along tree rows on an image and to create a path to be followed by a mobile robot. To develop the algorithm, a set of images of different types of orchards was used, which made possible the construction of a method capable of identifying paths between trees of different heights and aspects. The algorithm was evaluated using several images with different characteristics of quality and the results showed that the proposed method can successfully detect a path in different types of environments.

Keywords: Agricultural mobile robot, image processing, path recognition, Hough transform.

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164 Standalone Docking Station with Combined Charging Methods for Agricultural Mobile Robots

Authors: Leonor Varandas, Pedro D. Gaspar, Martim L. Aguiar

Abstract:

One of the biggest concerns in the field of agriculture is around the energy efficiency of robots that will perform agriculture’s activity and their charging methods. In this paper, two different charging methods for agricultural standalone docking stations are shown that will take into account various variants as field size and its irregularities, work’s nature to which the robot will perform, deadlines that have to be respected, among others. Its features also are dependent on the orchard, season, battery type and its technical specifications and cost. First charging base method focuses on wireless charging, presenting more benefits for small field. The second charging base method relies on battery replacement being more suitable for large fields, thus avoiding the robot stop for recharge. Existing many methods to charge a battery, the CC CV was considered the most appropriate for either simplicity or effectiveness. The choice of the battery for agricultural purposes is if most importance. While the most common battery used is Li-ion battery, this study also discusses the use of graphene-based new type of batteries with 45% over capacity to the Li-ion one. A Battery Management Systems (BMS) is applied for battery balancing. All these approaches combined showed to be a promising method to improve a lot of technical agricultural work, not just in terms of plantation and harvesting but also about every technique to prevent harmful events like plagues and weeds or even to reduce crop time and cost.

Keywords: Agricultural mobile robot, charging base methods, battery replacement method, wireless charging method.

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163 Map Matching Performance under Various Similarity Metrics for Heterogeneous Robot Teams

Authors: M. C. Akay, A. Aybakan, H. Temeltas

Abstract:

Aerial and ground robots have various advantages of usage in different missions. Aerial robots can move quickly and get a different sight of view of the area, but those vehicles cannot carry heavy payloads. On the other hand, unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) are slow moving vehicles, since those can carry heavier payloads than unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In this context, we investigate the performances of various Similarity Metrics to provide a common map for Heterogeneous Robot Team (HRT) in complex environments. Within the usage of Lidar Odometry and Octree Mapping technique, the local 3D maps of the environment are gathered.  In order to obtain a common map for HRT, informative theoretic similarity metrics are exploited. All types of these similarity metrics gave adequate as allowable simulation time and accurate results that can be used in different types of applications. For the heterogeneous multi robot team, those methods can be used to match different types of maps.

Keywords: Common maps, heterogeneous robot team, map matching, informative theoretic similarity metrics.

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162 Design of a Chaotic Trajectory Generator Algorithm for Mobile Robots

Authors: J. J. Cetina-Denis, R. M. López-Gutiérrez, R. Ramírez-Ramírez, C. Cruz-Hernández

Abstract:

This work addresses the problem of designing an algorithm capable of generating chaotic trajectories for mobile robots. Particularly, the chaotic behavior is induced in the linear and angular velocities of a Khepera III differential mobile robot by infusing them with the states of the H´enon chaotic map. A possible application, using the properties of chaotic systems, is patrolling a work area. In this work, numerical and experimental results are reported and analyzed. In addition, two quantitative numerical tests are applied in order to measure how chaotic the generated trajectories really are.

Keywords: Chaos, chaotic trajectories, differential mobile robot, Henons map, Khepera III robot, patrolling applications.

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161 Designing a Robust Controller for a 6 Linkage Robot

Authors: G. Khamooshian

Abstract:

One of the main points of application of the mechanisms of the series and parallel is the subject of managing them. The control of this mechanism and similar mechanisms is one that has always been the intention of the scholars. On the other hand, modeling the behavior of the system is difficult due to the large number of its parameters, and it leads to complex equations that are difficult to solve and eventually difficult to control. In this paper, a six-linkage robot has been presented that could be used in different areas such as medical robots. Using these robots needs a robust control. In this paper, the system equations are first found, and then the system conversion function is written. A new controller has been designed for this robot which could be used in other parallel robots and could be very useful. Parallel robots are so important in robotics because of their stability, so methods for control of them are important and the robust controller, especially in parallel robots, makes a sense.

Keywords: 3-RRS, 6 linkage, parallel robot, control.

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160 An Inflatable and Foldable Knee Exosuit Based on Intelligent Management of Biomechanical Energy

Authors: Jing Fang, Yao Cui, Mingming Wang, Shengli She, Jianping Yuan

Abstract:

Wearable robotics is a potential solution in aiding gait rehabilitation of lower limbs dyskinesia patients, such as knee osteoarthritis or stroke afflicted patients. Many wearable robots have been developed in the form of rigid exoskeletons, but their bulk devices, high cost and control complexity hinder their popularity in the field of gait rehabilitation. Thus, the development of a portable, compliant and low-cost wearable robot for gait rehabilitation is necessary. Inspired by Chinese traditional folding fans and balloon inflators, the authors present an inflatable, foldable and variable stiffness knee exosuit (IFVSKE) in this paper. The pneumatic actuator of IFVSKE was fabricated in the shape of folding fans by using thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) fabric materials. The geometric and mechanical properties of IFVSKE were characterized with experimental methods. To assist the knee joint smartly, an intelligent control profile for IFVSKE was proposed based on the concept of full-cycle energy management of the biomechanical energy during human movement. The biomechanical energy of knee joints in a walking gait cycle of patients could be collected and released to assist the joint motion just by adjusting the inner pressure of IFVSKE. Finally, a healthy subject was involved to walk with and without the IFVSKE to evaluate the assisting effects.

Keywords: Biomechanical energy management, gait rehabilitation, knee exosuit, wearable robotics.

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159 Estimation of the External Force for a Co-Manipulation Task Using the Drive Chain Robot

Authors: Sylvain Devie, Pierre-Philippe Robet, Yannick Aoustin, Maxime Gautier

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to show that the observation of the external effort and the sensor-less control of a system is limited by the mechanical system. First, the model of a one-joint robot with a prismatic joint is presented. Based on this model, two different procedures were performed in order to identify the mechanical parameters of the system and observe the external effort applied on it. Experiments have proven that the accuracy of the force observer, based on the DC motor current, is limited by the mechanics of the robot. The sensor-less control will be limited by the accuracy in estimation of the mechanical parameters and by the maximum static friction force, that is the minimum force which can be observed in this case. The consequence of this limitation is that industrial robots without specific design are not well adapted to perform sensor-less precision tasks. Finally, an efficient control law is presented for high effort applications.

Keywords: Control, Identification, Robot, Co-manipulation, Sensor-less.

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158 Adaptive Motion Planning for 6-DOF Robots Based on Trigonometric Functions

Authors: Jincan Li, Mingyu Gao, Zhiwei He, Yuxiang Yang, Zhongfei Yu, Yuanyuan Liu

Abstract:

Building an appropriate motion model is crucial for trajectory planning of robots and determines the operational quality directly. An adaptive acceleration and deceleration motion planning based on trigonometric functions for the end-effector of 6-DOF robots in Cartesian coordinate system is proposed in this paper. This method not only achieves the smooth translation motion and rotation motion by constructing a continuous jerk model, but also automatically adjusts the parameters of trigonometric functions according to the variable inputs and the kinematic constraints. The results of computer simulation show that this method is correct and effective to achieve the adaptive motion planning for linear trajectories.

Keywords: 6-DOF robots, motion planning, trigonometric function, kinematic constraints

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157 Affective Robots: Evaluation of Automatic Emotion Recognition Approaches on a Humanoid Robot towards Emotionally Intelligent Machines

Authors: Silvia Santano Guillén, Luigi Lo Iacono, Christian Meder

Abstract:

One of the main aims of current social robotic research is to improve the robots’ abilities to interact with humans. In order to achieve an interaction similar to that among humans, robots should be able to communicate in an intuitive and natural way and appropriately interpret human affects during social interactions. Similarly to how humans are able to recognize emotions in other humans, machines are capable of extracting information from the various ways humans convey emotions—including facial expression, speech, gesture or text—and using this information for improved human computer interaction. This can be described as Affective Computing, an interdisciplinary field that expands into otherwise unrelated fields like psychology and cognitive science and involves the research and development of systems that can recognize and interpret human affects. To leverage these emotional capabilities by embedding them in humanoid robots is the foundation of the concept Affective Robots, which has the objective of making robots capable of sensing the user’s current mood and personality traits and adapt their behavior in the most appropriate manner based on that. In this paper, the emotion recognition capabilities of the humanoid robot Pepper are experimentally explored, based on the facial expressions for the so-called basic emotions, as well as how it performs in contrast to other state-of-the-art approaches with both expression databases compiled in academic environments and real subjects showing posed expressions as well as spontaneous emotional reactions. The experiments’ results show that the detection accuracy amongst the evaluated approaches differs substantially. The introduced experiments offer a general structure and approach for conducting such experimental evaluations. The paper further suggests that the most meaningful results are obtained by conducting experiments with real subjects expressing the emotions as spontaneous reactions.

Keywords: Affective computing, emotion recognition, humanoid robot, Human-Robot-Interaction (HRI), social robots.

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156 A Review on Comparative Analysis of Path Planning and Collision Avoidance Algorithms

Authors: Divya Agarwal, Pushpendra S. Bharti

Abstract:

Autonomous mobile robots (AMR) are expected as smart tools for operations in every automation industry. Path planning and obstacle avoidance is the backbone of AMR as robots have to reach their goal location avoiding obstacles while traversing through optimized path defined according to some criteria such as distance, time or energy. Path planning can be classified into global and local path planning where environmental information is known and unknown/partially known, respectively. A number of sensors are used for data collection. A number of algorithms such as artificial potential field (APF), rapidly exploring random trees (RRT), bidirectional RRT, Fuzzy approach, Purepursuit, A* algorithm, vector field histogram (VFH) and modified local path planning algorithm, etc. have been used in the last three decades for path planning and obstacle avoidance for AMR. This paper makes an attempt to review some of the path planning and obstacle avoidance algorithms used in the field of AMR. The review includes comparative analysis of simulation and mathematical computations of path planning and obstacle avoidance algorithms using MATLAB 2018a. From the review, it could be concluded that different algorithms may complete the same task (i.e. with a different set of instructions) in less or more time, space, effort, etc.

Keywords: Autonomous mobile robots, obstacle avoidance, path planning, and processing time.

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155 Autonomic Management for Mobile Robot Battery Degradation

Authors: Martin Doran, Roy Sterritt, George Wilkie

Abstract:

The majority of today’s mobile robots are very dependent on battery power. Mobile robots can operate untethered for a number of hours but eventually they will need to recharge their batteries in-order to continue to function. While computer processing and sensors have become cheaper and more powerful each year, battery development has progress very little. They are slow to re-charge, inefficient and lagging behind in the general progression of robotic development we see today. However, batteries are relatively cheap and when fully charged, can supply high power output necessary for operating heavy mobile robots. As there are no cheap alternatives to batteries, we need to find efficient ways to manage the power that batteries provide during their operational lifetime. This paper proposes the use of autonomic principles of self-adaption to address the behavioral changes a battery experiences as it gets older. In life, as we get older, we cannot perform tasks in the same way as we did in our youth; these tasks generally take longer to perform and require more of our energy to complete. Batteries also suffer from a form of degradation. As a battery gets older, it loses the ability to retain the same charge capacity it would have when brand new. This paper investigates how we can adapt the current state of a battery charge and cycle count, to the requirements of a mobile robot to perform its tasks.

Keywords: Autonomic, self-adaptive, self-optimizing, degradation.

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154 Attribute Based Comparison and Selection of Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robot Using Multiple Attribute Decision Making Approach

Authors: Manpreet Singh, V. P. Agrawal, Gurmanjot Singh Bhatti

Abstract:

From the last decades, there is a significant technological advancement in the field of robotics, and a number of modular self-reconfigurable robots were introduced that can help in space exploration, bucket to stuff, search, and rescue operation during earthquake, etc. As there are numbers of self-reconfigurable robots, choosing the optimum one is always a concern for robot user since there is an increase in available features, facilities, complexity, etc. The objective of this research work is to present a multiple attribute decision making based methodology for coding, evaluation, comparison ranking and selection of modular self-reconfigurable robots using a technique for order preferences by similarity to ideal solution approach. However, 86 attributes that affect the structure and performance are identified. A database for modular self-reconfigurable robot on the basis of different pertinent attribute is generated. This database is very useful for the user, for selecting a robot that suits their operational needs. Two visual methods namely linear graph and spider chart are proposed for ranking of modular self-reconfigurable robots. Using five robots (Atron, Smores, Polybot, M-Tran 3, Superbot), an example is illustrated, and raking of the robots is successfully done, which shows that Smores is the best robot for the operational need illustrated, and this methodology is found to be very effective and simple to use.

Keywords: Self-reconfigurable robots, MADM, TOPSIS, morphogenesis, scalability.

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153 Mathematical Description of Functional Motion and Application as a Feeding Mode for General Purpose Assistive Robots

Authors: Martin Leroux, Sylvain Brisebois

Abstract:

Eating a meal is among the Activities of Daily Living, but it takes a lot of time and effort for people with physical or functional limitations. Dedicated technologies are cumbersome and not portable, while general-purpose assistive robots such as wheelchair-based manipulators are too hard to control for elaborate continuous motion like eating. Eating with such devices has not previously been automated, since there existed no description of a feeding motion for uncontrolled environments. In this paper, we introduce a feeding mode for assistive manipulators, including a mathematical description of trajectories for motions that are difficult to perform manually such as gathering and scooping food at a defined/desired pace. We implement these trajectories in a sequence of movements for a semi-automated feeding mode which can be controlled with a very simple 3-button interface, allowing the user to have control over the feeding pace. Finally, we demonstrate the feeding mode with a JACO robotic arm and compare the eating speed, measured in bites per minute of three eating methods: a healthy person eating unaided, a person with upper limb limitations or disability using JACO with manual control, and a person with limitations using JACO with the feeding mode. We found that the feeding mode allows eating about 5 bites per minute, which should be sufficient to eat a meal under 30min.

Keywords: Assistive robotics, Automated feeding, Elderly care, Trajectory design, Human-Robot Interaction.

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152 Energy Management Techniques in Mobile Robots

Authors: G. Gurguze, I. Turkoglu

Abstract:

Today, the developing features of technological tools with limited energy resources have made it necessary to use energy efficiently. Energy management techniques have emerged for this purpose. As with every field, energy management is vital for robots that are being used in many areas from industry to daily life and that are thought to take up more spaces in the future. Particularly, effective power management in autonomous and multi robots, which are getting more complicated and increasing day by day, will improve the performance and success. In this study, robot management algorithms, usage of renewable and hybrid energy sources, robot motion patterns, robot designs, sharing strategies of workloads in multiple robots, road and mission planning algorithms are discussed for efficient use of energy resources by mobile robots. These techniques have been evaluated in terms of efficient use of existing energy resources and energy management in robots.

Keywords: Energy management, mobile robot, robot administration, robot management, robot planning.

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151 Representations of Childcare Robots as a Controversial Issue

Authors: Raya A. Jones

Abstract:

This paper interrogates online representations of robot companions for children, including promotional material by manufacturers, media articles and technology blogs. The significance of the study lies in its contribution to understanding attitudes to robots. The prospect of childcare robots is particularly controversial ethically, and is associated with emotive arguments. The sampled material is restricted to relatively recent posts (the past three years) though the analysis identifies both continuous and changing themes across the past decade. The method extrapolates social representations theory towards examining the ways in which information about robotic products is provided for the general public. Implications for social acceptance of robot companions for the home and robot ethics are considered.

Keywords: Acceptance of robots, childcare robots, ethics, social representations.

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150 A Robotic “Puppet Master” Application to ASD Therapeutic Support

Authors: Sophie Sakka, Rénald Gaboriau

Abstract:

This paper describes a preliminary work aimed at setting a therapeutic support for autistic teenagers using three humanoid robots NAO shared by ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) subjects. The studied population had attended successfully a first year program, and were observed with a second year program using the robots. This paper focuses on the content and the effects of the second year program. The approach is based on a master puppet concept: the subjects program the robots, and use them as an extension for communication. Twenty sessions were organized, alternating ten preparatory sessions and ten robotics programming sessions. During the preparatory sessions, the subjects write a story to be played by the robots. During the robot programming sessions, the subjects program the motions to be realized to make the robot tell the story. The program was concluded by a public performance. The experiment involves five ASD teenagers aged 12-15, who had all attended the first year robotics training. As a result, a progress in voluntary and organized communication skills of the five subjects was observed, leading to improvements in social organization, focus, voluntary communication, programming, reading and writing abilities. The changes observed in the subjects general behavior took place in a short time, and could be observed from one robotics session to the next one. The approach allowed the subjects to draw the limits of their body with respect to the environment, and therefore helped them confronting the world with less anxiety.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, robot, therapeutic support, rob’autism.

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149 Distributed Coverage Control by Robot Networks in Unknown Environments Using a Modified EM Algorithm

Authors: Mohammadhosein Hasanbeig, Lacra Pavel

Abstract:

In this paper, we study a distributed control algorithm for the problem of unknown area coverage by a network of robots. The coverage objective is to locate a set of targets in the area and to minimize the robots’ energy consumption. The robots have no prior knowledge about the location and also about the number of the targets in the area. One efficient approach that can be used to relax the robots’ lack of knowledge is to incorporate an auxiliary learning algorithm into the control scheme. A learning algorithm actually allows the robots to explore and study the unknown environment and to eventually overcome their lack of knowledge. The control algorithm itself is modeled based on game theory where the network of the robots use their collective information to play a non-cooperative potential game. The algorithm is tested via simulations to verify its performance and adaptability.

Keywords: Distributed control, game theory, multi-agent learning, reinforcement learning.

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148 Robot Technology Impact on Dyslexic Students’ English Learning

Authors: Khaled Hamdan, Abid Amorri, Fatima Hamdan

Abstract:

Involving students in English language learning process and achieving an adequate English language proficiency in the target language can be a great challenge for both teachers and students. This can prove even a far greater challenge to engage students with special needs (Dyslexia) if they have physical impairment and inadequate mastery of basic communicative language competence/proficiency in the target language. From this perspective, technology like robots can probably be used to enhance learning process for the special needs students who have extensive communication needs, who face continuous struggle to interact with their peers and teachers and meet academic requirements. Robots, precisely NAO, can probably provide them with the perfect opportunity to practice social and communication skills, and meet their English academic requirements. This research paper aims to identify to what extent robots can be used to improve students’ social interaction and communication skills and to understand the potential for robotics-based education in motivating and engaging UAEU dyslexic students to meet university requirements. To reach this end, the paper will explore several factors that come into play – Motion Level-involving cognitive activities, Interaction Level-involving language processing, Behavior Level -establishing a close relationship with the robot and Appraisal Level- focusing on dyslexia students’ achievement in the target language.

Keywords: Dyslexia, robot technology, motion, interaction, behavior and appraisal levels, social and communication skills.

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147 Terrain Classification for Ground Robots Based on Acoustic Features

Authors: Bernd Kiefer, Abraham Gebru Tesfay, Dietrich Klakow

Abstract:

The motivation of our work is to detect different terrain types traversed by a robot based on acoustic data from the robot-terrain interaction. Different acoustic features and classifiers were investigated, such as Mel-frequency cepstral coefficient and Gamma-tone frequency cepstral coefficient for the feature extraction, and Gaussian mixture model and Feed forward neural network for the classification. We analyze the system’s performance by comparing our proposed techniques with some other features surveyed from distinct related works. We achieve precision and recall values between 87% and 100% per class, and an average accuracy at 95.2%. We also study the effect of varying audio chunk size in the application phase of the models and find only a mild impact on performance.

Keywords: Terrain classification, acoustic features, autonomous robots, feature extraction.

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146 Virtual 3D Environments for Image-Based Navigation Algorithms

Authors: V. B. Bastos, M. P. Lima, P. R. G. Kurka

Abstract:

This paper applies to the creation of virtual 3D environments for the study and development of mobile robot image based navigation algorithms and techniques, which need to operate robustly and efficiently. The test of these algorithms can be performed in a physical way, from conducting experiments on a prototype, or by numerical simulations. Current simulation platforms for robotic applications do not have flexible and updated models for image rendering, being unable to reproduce complex light effects and materials. Thus, it is necessary to create a test platform that integrates sophisticated simulated applications of real environments for navigation, with data and image processing. This work proposes the development of a high-level platform for building 3D model’s environments and the test of image-based navigation algorithms for mobile robots. Techniques were used for applying texture and lighting effects in order to accurately represent the generation of rendered images regarding the real world version. The application will integrate image processing scripts, trajectory control, dynamic modeling and simulation techniques for physics representation and picture rendering with the open source 3D creation suite - Blender.

Keywords: Simulation, visual navigation, mobile robot, data visualization.

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145 The Use of the Limit Cycles of Dynamic Systems for Formation of Program Trajectories of Points Feet of the Anthropomorphous Robot

Authors: A. S. Gorobtsov, A. S. Polyanina, A. E. Andreev

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The movement of points feet of the anthropomorphous robot in space occurs along some stable trajectory of a known form. A large number of modifications to the methods of control of biped robots indicate the fundamental complexity of the problem of stability of the program trajectory and, consequently, the stability of the control for the deviation for this trajectory. Existing gait generators use piecewise interpolation of program trajectories. This leads to jumps in the acceleration at the boundaries of sites. Another interpolation can be realized using differential equations with fractional derivatives. In work, the approach to synthesis of generators of program trajectories is considered. The resulting system of nonlinear differential equations describes a smooth trajectory of movement having rectilinear sites. The method is based on the theory of an asymptotic stability of invariant sets. The stability of such systems in the area of localization of oscillatory processes is investigated. The boundary of the area is a bounded closed surface. In the corresponding subspaces of the oscillatory circuits, the resulting stable limit cycles are curves having rectilinear sites. The solution of the problem is carried out by means of synthesis of a set of the continuous smooth controls with feedback. The necessary geometry of closed trajectories of movement is obtained due to the introduction of high-order nonlinearities in the control of stabilization systems. The offered method was used for the generation of trajectories of movement of point’s feet of the anthropomorphous robot. The synthesis of the robot's program movement was carried out by means of the inverse method.

Keywords: Control, limits cycle, robot, stability.

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144 Autonomic Sonar Sensor Fault Manager for Mobile Robots

Authors: Martin Doran, Roy Sterritt, George Wilkie

Abstract:

NASA, ESA, and NSSC space agencies have plans to put planetary rovers on Mars in 2020. For these future planetary rovers to succeed, they will heavily depend on sensors to detect obstacles. This will also become of vital importance in the future, if rovers become less dependent on commands received from earth-based control and more dependent on self-configuration and self-decision making. These planetary rovers will face harsh environments and the possibility of hardware failure is high, as seen in missions from the past. In this paper, we focus on using Autonomic principles where self-healing, self-optimization, and self-adaption are explored using the MAPE-K model and expanding this model to encapsulate the attributes such as Awareness, Analysis, and Adjustment (AAA-3). In the experimentation, a Pioneer P3-DX research robot is used to simulate a planetary rover. The sonar sensors on the P3-DX robot are used to simulate the sensors on a planetary rover (even though in reality, sonar sensors cannot operate in a vacuum). Experiments using the P3-DX robot focus on how our software system can be adapted with the loss of sonar sensor functionality. The autonomic manager system is responsible for the decision making on how to make use of remaining ‘enabled’ sonars sensors to compensate for those sonar sensors that are ‘disabled’. The key to this research is that the robot can still detect objects even with reduced sonar sensor capability.

Keywords: Autonomic, self-adaption, self-healing, self-optimization.

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143 Sampled-Data Model Predictive Tracking Control for Mobile Robot

Authors: Wookyong Kwon, Sangmoon Lee

Abstract:

In this paper, a sampled-data model predictive tracking control method is presented for mobile robots which is modeled as constrained continuous-time linear parameter varying (LPV) systems. The presented sampled-data predictive controller is designed by linear matrix inequality approach. Based on the input delay approach, a controller design condition is derived by constructing a new Lyapunov function. Finally, a numerical example is given to demonstrate the effectiveness of the presented method.

Keywords: Model predictive control, sampled-data control, linear parameter varying systems, LPV.

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142 Electromyography Pattern Classification with Laplacian Eigenmaps in Human Running

Authors: Elnaz Lashgari, Emel Demircan

Abstract:

Electromyography (EMG) is one of the most important interfaces between humans and robots for rehabilitation. Decoding this signal helps to recognize muscle activation and converts it into smooth motion for the robots. Detecting each muscle’s pattern during walking and running is vital for improving the quality of a patient’s life. In this study, EMG data from 10 muscles in 10 subjects at 4 different speeds were analyzed. EMG signals are nonlinear with high dimensionality. To deal with this challenge, we extracted some features in time-frequency domain and used manifold learning and Laplacian Eigenmaps algorithm to find the intrinsic features that represent data in low-dimensional space. We then used the Bayesian classifier to identify various patterns of EMG signals for different muscles across a range of running speeds. The best result for vastus medialis muscle corresponds to 97.87±0.69 for sensitivity and 88.37±0.79 for specificity with 97.07±0.29 accuracy using Bayesian classifier. The results of this study provide important insight into human movement and its application for robotics research.

Keywords: Electrocardiogram, manifold learning, Laplacian Eigenmaps, running pattern.

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141 Application of Robotics to Assemble a Used Fuel Container in the Canadian Used Fuel Packing Plant

Authors: Dimitrie Marinceu

Abstract:

The newest Canadian Used Fuel Container (UFC)- (called also “Mark II”) modifies the design approach for its Assembly Robotic Cell (ARC) in the Canadian Used (Nuclear) Fuel Packing Plant (UFPP). Some of the robotic design solutions are presented in this paper. The design indicates that robots and manipulators are expected to be used in the Canadian UFPP. As normally, the UFPP design will incorporate redundancy of all equipment to allow expedient recovery from any postulated upset conditions. Overall, this paper suggests that robot usage will have a significant positive impact on nuclear safety, quality, productivity, and reliability.

Keywords: Used fuel packing plant, robotic assembly cell, used fuel container, deep geological repository.

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