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Autonomous Ground Vehicle for Low Intensity Conflict

DESCRIPTION The invention is a design of a remotely-controlled Autonomous Ground Vehicle (AGV). The Robot is designed using PTC PRO-ENGINEER Wildfire v4. It helped in deciding the dimensions and balancing of the robot. The robot is designed considering Safety and reduced complexity. We have used ANSYS 12 Mechanical for simulating our Pro-E design and Finite Element Analysis. We are using Differential Drive for steering and Computer operated Motor Controller for Throttle control. Motors used are brushed DC motors filled with Gearbox (Refer Fig 1). For braking we have manual and wireless E-Stops. Wheel Encoders are being used to provide feedback to Motor Controllers. We have supply of 24 volt DC converted to 12V and 9V by DC-DC Convertors. Sensors used are Laser Sensors (LIDAR), IR Range Finders, Digital Video Camera, Digital Compass and GPS. GPS takes Land Mark Positions (Waypoints) as input and provides useful Navigation Data. LIDAR are long-range sensors (range 80m) and provide useful information for Long Term Path Planning. IR Sensors are short range sensors (range 10m) used to avoid collision of Robot. Digital Camera is used for both Long Range (Stereo Vision) and Short Range (Color Vision) path determination. LIDAR, Vision and GPS results are integrated through KALMAN filter to get accurate results. We have used O3 (Optimal explicit path planning, local points of Opportunity, and Obstacle avoidance) technique for path planning and obstacle avoidance. It provides both Implicit and Explicit path planning Options. It used A* algorithm for obstacle avoidance inherently and local points of opportunity to update the globally optimal path. Environmental mapping is also used to speed up the search algorithms in static environments. O3 Technique suggests path between two GPS coordinates based on local availability as well as in a global context (relationship between the GPS coordinate and obstacle density in the vicinity). We have also used the VFC (Vector Field Concept) for local goal following where the robot is considered to be in a force field where all the obstacles push the robot away and the target pulls the robot to it.

We are using Microsoft Robotics Studio for Robot Control and Simulation. Open JAUS (Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems) libraries are used foe Obstacle Avoidance and Intels OpenCV Image processing Libraries are used for Image Processing part.

Fig. 1 Robot System Design

Fig 2 Robot Structure

FIG 3 Throttle Control And Breaking Mechanism

FIG 4 Working of Control System





FIG. 5 (a) O3 Path Planning Mechanism FIG. 5 (b) Global and Local Frames

We claim 1. A Novel low-cost outdoor remotely operated Autonomous Ground Vehicle

(AGV) consisting of on-board GPS Module, Vision System and Laser Range Detection units, which provides Lane Detection and Obstacle Avoidance features to the robot. The GPS Module integrated helps in waypoint navigation. On-board Laptop is used to provide computation platform and central processing, interfacing and control unit of all system components. 2. MATLAB Instrumentation Control Toolbox has been used command Motor Controller while MATLAB Image Processing Toolbox inherent Image processing Libraries has been used for Obstacle Avoidance and Lane Detection Algorithms. The uniquely developed algorithms for the best path selection on global domain, obstacle avoidance and navigation hold an edge over traditional methods. The system integrity in structural, electrical and software level brings complete autonomous controllability to the robot. 3. The invention of claim 1, wherein said Autonomous Ground Vehicle (AGV) is vehicle whose structure is to be built using iron rods and steel sheets. The. Main gears are made up of high speed steel (HSS M35) alloys. The Vehicle dimensions L X W X H are 120cmX 80cmX 40cm. All designs are made in PTC Pro-E v4 and simulated in ANSYS 12 Mechanical. 4. The Autonomous Ground Vehicle (AGV) has both Manual On-bord and Wireless E-STOPs which are circuitted as shown in Fig 3. E-Stops stop Robot by disconnecting the motor power wirings from the Controller. 5. A Dell XPS laptop having Intel Core Duo T2600 2.16GHz CPU and 3 GB RAM would be used, running on Windows Vista operating system (Refer Fig 4). The internal Lithium-Ion battery provides a power back up of 2 hrs. It weights

around 2.5 kg. Majority of the components would be having USB interface with the laptop so a USB hub has been used. It would be mounted directly on the structure in shell. 6. We are using O3 (Optimal explicit path planning, local points of Opportunity, and Obstacle avoidance) Navigation Scheme for GPS navigation and obstacle avoidance. In O3 Mechanism, Robot will follow the GPS coordinates of Global Frame and not of Local Frames. As a result, robot travels in correct direction even if current location determined is not precise (Refer 5 (b)). Fig 5 (a) shows Robot track by blue path, Waypoints by White circles, Obstacles by yellow dots and regions defined in algorithm by red Boundaries.

Signature Dated: 10-Oct-2011