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RA - A Robust Layered Control System for a Mobile Robot

RA - A Robust Layered Control System for a Mobile Robot

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Published by Rick Deckard
robot programming & artificial intelligence new (80's) paradigm
robot programming & artificial intelligence new (80's) paradigm

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Published by: Rick Deckard on May 23, 2012
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MASSACHUSETTSINSTITUTEOFTECHNOLOGYARTIFICIALINTELLIGENCELABORATORYA.I.Memo864September,
1985
AROBUSTLAYEREDCONTROLSYSTEMFORAMOBILEROBOT
RodneyA.BrooksAbstract.Wedescribeanewarchitectureforcontrollingmobilerobots.Layersofcontrolsystemarebuilttolettherobotoperateatincreasinglevelsofcompetence.Layersaremadeupofasynchronousmoduleswhichcommunicateoverlowbandwidthchannels.Eachmoduleisaninstanceofafairlysimplecomputationalmachine.Higherlevellayerscansubsumetherolesoflowerlevelsbysuppressingtheiroutputs.However,lowerlevelscontinuetofunctionashigherlevelsareadded.Theresultisarobustandflexiblerobotcontrolsystem.Thesystemisintendedtocontrolarobotthatwanderstheofficeareasofourlaboratory,buildingmapsofitssurroundings.Inthispaperwedemonstratethesystemcontrollingadetailedsimulationoftherobot.Acknowledgments.ThisreportdescribesresearchdoneattheArtificialIntelligenceLab-oratoryoftheMassachusettsInstituteofTechnology.SupportfortheresearchisprovidedinpartbyanIBMFacultyDevelopmentAward,inpartbyagrantfromtheSystems.DevelopmentFoundation,inpartbyanequipmentgrantfromMotorola,andinpartbytheAdvancedResearchProjectsAgencyunderOfficeofNavalResearchcontractsN00014-80-C-0505andN00014-82-K-0334.
©
MassachusettsInstituteofTechnology1985
 
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1.
Atraditionaldecompositionofamobilerobotcontrolsystemintofunctionalmodules.
reasonaboutbehaviorofobjectsplanchangestotheworldidentifyobjectsmonitorchangesSensors
---41..
Actuatonbuildmapsexplorewanderavoidobjects
Figure2.Adecompositionofamobilerobotcontrolsystembasedontaskachievingbehaviors.
1.Introduction
Acontrolsystemforacompletelyautonomousmobilerobotmustperformmanycomplexinformationprocessingtasksinrealtime.
It
operatesinanenvironmentwheretheboundaryconditions(viewingtheinstantaneouscontrolprobleminaclassicalcontroltheoryformula-tion)arechangingrapidly.
In
factthedeterminationofthoseboundaryconditionsisdoneoververynoisychannelssincethereisnostraightforwardmappingbetweensensors(e.g.TVcameras)andtheformrequiredoftheboundaryconditions.
 
ARobustLayeredControlSystemforaMobileRobot
2
Theusualapproachtobuildingcontrolsystemsforsuchrobotsistodecomposetheproblemintoaseries(roughly)of
functionalunits
asillustratedbyaseriesofverticalslicesinfigure1.Afteranalysingthecomputationalrequirementsforamobilerobotwehavedecidedtouse
taskachievingbehaviors
asourprimarydecompositionoftheproblem.Thisisillustratedbyaseriesofhorizontalslicesinfigure2.Aswithafunctionaldecompositionweimplementeachsliceexplicitlythentiethemalltogethertoformarobotcontrolsystem.Ournewdecompositionleadstoaradicallydifferentarchitectureformobilerobotcontrolsystems,withradicallydifferentimplementationstrategiesplausibleatthehardwarelevel,andwithalargenumberofadvantagesconcerningrobustness,buildabilityandtestability.
1.1
RequirementsWecanidentifyanumberofrequirementsofacontrolsystemforanintelligentautonomousmobilerobot.Theyeachputconstraintsonpossiblecontrolsystemswemightbuildandemploy.MultipleGoals.Oftentherobotwillhavemultiplegoals,someconflicting,whichitistryingtoachieve.
It
maybetryingtoreachacertainpointaheadofitwhileavoidinglocalobstacles.Itmaybetryingtoreachacertainplaceinminimaltimewhileconservingpowerreserves.Oftentherelativeimportanceofgoalswillbecontextdependent.Gettingofftherailroadtrackswhenatrainisheardbecomesmuchmoreimportantthaninspectingthelast10tracktiesofthecurrenttracksection.Thecontrolsystemmustberesponsivetohighprioritygoals,whilestillservicingnecessary"lowlevel"goals(e.g.ingettingofftherailroadtracksitisstillimportantthattherobotmaintainsitsbalancesoitdoesn'tfalldown).MultipleSensors.Therobotwillmostlikelyhavemultiplesensors(e.g.TVcameras,encodersonsteeringanddrivemechanisms,andperhapsinfraredbeacondetectors,aninertialnavigationsystem,acousticrangefinders,infraredrangefinders,accesstoaglobalpositioningsatellitesystem,etc.).Allsensorshaveanerrorcomponentintheirreadings.Furthermore,oftenthereisnodirectanalyticmappingfromsensorvaluestodesiredphysicalquantities.Someofthesensorswilloverlapinthephysicalquantitiestheymeasure.Theywilloftengiveinconsistentreadings-sometimesduetonormalsensorerrorandsometimesduetothemeasurementconditionsbeingsuchthatthesensor(andsubsequentprocessing)isbeingusedoutsideitsdomainofapplicability.Oftentherewillbenoanalyticcharacterizationofthedomainofapplicability(e.g.underwhatpreciseconditionsdoestheSobeloperatorreturnvalidedges?).Therobotmustmakedecisionsundertheseconditions.Robustness.Therobotoughttoberobust.Whensomesensorsfailitshouldbeabletoadaptandcopebyrelyingonthosestillfunctional.Whentheenvironmentchangesdrasticallyitshouldbeabletostillachievesomemodicumofsensiblebehavior,ratherthensitinshock,orwanderaimlesslyorirrationallyaround.Ideallyitshouldalsocontinuetofunctionwellwhentherearefaultsinpartsofitsprocessor(s}.Additivity.Asmoresensorsandcapabilitiesareaddedtoarobotitneedsmoreprocessingpower;otherwisetheoriginalcapabilitiesoftherobotwillbeimpairedrelativetotheflowoftime.

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