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(1) Universidad de Granada Dep. Ciencias de la Computación e Inteligencia Artificial Granada, Spain
Miguel DELGADO1, Antonio GOMEZ2, Humberto MARTINEZ2, Pedro GARCIA2
(2) Universidad de Murcia. Dep. Informática, Inteligencia Artificial, y Electrónica. Murcia, Spain email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Key Word: sensor filtering, fuzzy logic, range sonar, autonomous robots
This paper deals with the application of fuzzy logic to one of the navigational components of an indoor autonomous system implemented by means of intelligent agents. The most well known arguments supporting fuzzy control are the ability to cope with imprecise information in heuristic rule based knowledge and sensor measurements. Autonomous navigation based on ultrasonic sensors can provide an imprecise perception of the environment due to problems like crosstalking, noise and poor reliability. We propose a sensor fusion method based on history: the fuzzy sonar filtering.
The operation of an autonomous mobile robot in a real world unstructured environment requires consideration of multiple issues. Principally, the controller must be able to operate under conditions of imprecision and uncertainty. To cope with these difficulties, the controller must be able to respond reactively to unforeseen events as soon as they are perceived. This can be achieved by decomposition of the overall control function into a number of simple units, called behaviours . If we also want to be able to operate under conditions of imprecision and uncertainty the intelligence of this agents needs to use fuzzy logic  . The reliable operation of these agents implies a strong dependency on sensed information about the robot’s environment. Autonomous navigation based on ultrasonic sensors has the advantage of a possible wider application, due to the low cost of these sensors.
However, ultrasonic sensors provide an imprecise perception of the environment, making autonomous navigation not a trivial task, especially if the environment is unstructured, unknown to the robot, and contains an unknown number of obstacles of arbitrary shape. In addition to that there are well known problems like crosstalking, noise, and poor reliability for incidence angles bigger than 15 degrees in conjunction with smooth surfaces. When there are a number of such sensors (or even sensors of different nature), one approach to cope with these problems is fuzzy sonar fusion  or statistical sensor fusion methods, i.e. Kalman filters . When the number is small, such fusion can not be done simply because the response of a sonar has nothing to do with the other. In this case, each sonar response should be treated independiently. So, we propose a sensor validation method based on history: the fuzzy sonar filtering. In the following sections we will describe the proposed fuzzy sonar filtering, giving some experimental results. Finally we will present some conclusions based on the tests that we have performed.
2. FUZZY SENSOR FILTERING
Several approaches for information fusion have been proposed in the literature. Among them are probability theory, the Dempster-Shafer theory, neural networks, and fuzzy set theory. Fuzzy set theory provides several advantages due to the fact that there are numerous ways of combining fuzzy sets in addition to the union (e.g., maximum operator) and intersection (e.g., minimum operator) used in traditional theories. The information that the fusion system deal with is fuzzy rather than precise in nature, and fuzzy theory allows modelling this imprecision appropriately and later permits reasoning in
* This work has been partly supported by CYCIT grant TIC97-1343-C002-02
then the difference between the measured value and the predicted one (Eq. The predictor block implements a simple Kalman filter: the average of the state memory values. The experiments have been developed using ultrasonic sonar range finders as sensors. This block will consist of three parts: a state memory. diff Terms low medium high Table 2 Definition Points (0. trying to discard the a priori bad readings.65. using the same functions that the real system uses. we are going to address the problems of ultrasonic sonars. To cope with the effects of sonar erroneous readings we use a sensor filtering block for each sonar sensor.1). α Terms small medium large Table 3 Definition Points (0.8. The inference block has been implemented as a fuzzy inference system (Fig. The memory block will remember the last n readings of the sensor. 1) (150. 0) (0.III) is passed on to the fuzzy inference system as the input variable. 1) Trapezoid definition points for α linguistic terms. Fig. 1) (5. 0) (0.55. 0) (1.95.imprecise terms . These linguistic terms are represented as fuzzy sets with triangle and trapezoid like membership function distributions respectively. medium large). . whose estimate. 1) (0. The predictor block will stimate the next sensor value. 1) (15.85. IF diff IS small IF diff IS medium IF diff IS large THEN α IS high THEN α IS medium THEN α IS low 3. 1) (0. 1) (0. Table 1 Triangle definition points for diff linguistic terms. and this value is returned as the output of the filtering block.II) is used to weight the fusion of the current reading and the predicted one. high). s’ is the average of the state memory s” is the output of the filtering block sc is the current sensor reading diff is the input of the inference block α is the output of the inference block Regarding the fuzzy inference block. The state memory has been implemented as an array of values. 1) (5. it presents two variables: diff (input). a predictor block. which has associated three linguistic terms (small.the output of the inference system (Eq.I). and an inference block. The state memory size has been set to three for all the tests. 1) (15. 0) (150. . The fuzzy inference rulebase consists of three SISO rules. as a trade off between response time and smoothness. The higher the size the smoother the curve and the longer the response time. . 0) (1. and a l p h a (output). will reduce to a simple average. 1) (0. which has associated three linguistic terms (low.0) (20. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS A series of experiments have been run to test the correctness of the method and to compare the performance of the filtering block with the traditional most used approach: the Kalman filter with all weights equal. 0) Fuzzy rules for the inference block. On the other hand. These tests have been performed using a custom simulator written in C. 0) (0. in fact. 0) (20. The definition points for these sets are given in Tables 1 and 2. medium.1 Structure of the Fuzzy Inference System. The whole fuzzy filtering block works in the following way: . 0) (10.75. that are shown in Table 3. As each kind of range sensor has its very own nature.the state memory is updated with the output of the filtering block. In our system we will fuse the current reading with the previous one using a fuzzy inference system. 1) (10.6. The inference block will give an output fusing the input value and the estimated one. the n si s' = i=0 n s"= α ?sc + (1 − α ) ?s' diff = s' −sc where: [I] [II] [III] . based on the state memory by the predictor block (Eq.the predicted measure is calculated.
This ought to be an electrical failure (the peak voltage need to fire the ping signal used to be very high). if not treated correctly can make the system “think” of having an obstacle in front of it.6 Random reading error and bottom-top following. Although this error is not as critical as the former one. Fig. this error occurs.2 Zero reading error and bottom-top following.top-bottom following: a complex wall shape to test the performance when the distance changes suddenly from near to far.bottom-top following: a complex wall shape to test the performance when the distance changes suddenly from far to near Fig. The size needs to be calculated for each platform taking into account the number of sensor readings per second and the minimum acceptable response time to avoid crashing. Fig. Three test scenarios have been used. . the sate memory size used is well suited for the desired minimum response time.3 Zero reading error and wall following. measuring the distance from it to the wall.5 Random reading error top-bottom following. the scenario. This error. . Fig.lower the size. The robot is supposed to move parallel to . The configurations are: . due its nature (a slow processor with two sonar readings per second.4 Zero reading error and top-bottom following.wall following: a typical straight wall configuration. although most of the readings are correct. The state memory is initialized with measures set as infinite (that is the reason of the left peak in all the graphs). When the charge level is decreasing. Fig.random reading error: this is the error produced by an undesired sound reflection or an anomalous time of flight measurement. This is our principal source of sonar errors. . it is interesting to treat it to get a smooth response from the system. Two types of sonar errors have been addressed: . the sharper the curve and the lower the response time. which is not completely parallel to the car’s path. In our real system. mounted on a not too slow car). due to battery charge level. to see how good the filtering performs in some wall/obstacle environments.zero reading error: when the sonar gives a value of zero as the resulting measure.
USA. "Using Fuzzy Clustering in a Descriptive Fuzzy Modelling Approach".E. F. it can be seen that the filtering block outperforms better than the average method in the following ways: . Spain. Granada. "Hybrid Fuzzy-Genetic Technique for Multisensor Fusion". Gómez Skarmeta. Man Cyber. the filtering block (darker curve) gets results closer to real measure (medium curve) than the averager (lighter curve). Delgado.7). Spain. "Navigating Mobile Robots: Systems and Techniques". Sixth Int. 3. neural networks. Peters.when errors occurred. H.S. F.A. "Fuzzy Behaviors Combination to Control a NonHolonomic Mobile Robot Using Virtual Perception Memory". Ollero. then the result moves quickly to the real measure.C. and if the situation persists. pp 563-569. L. Spain. Fifth International Conference on Fuzzy Theory and Technology (FTT’97). CONCLUSIONS The filtering block have been proved that provides a uniform method to treat possible error failures from range sensor readings.K. pp 1235-1240. Conf. Gómez Skarmeta. R.2 to Fig. Sixth Int. A. Granada. 1996  Fig. Conf. Spain. "A robust Layered Control System for a Mobile Robot". etc. M. Information Sciences. Pfister. March 1997. Raleigh. Granada. 1996 A. H. A.7 Random reading error and wall following. Conference on Fuzzy Systems (FuzzIEEE’97). At this very moment. the different parameters have been adjusted by a trial-and-error method. Sixth Int. n. Martín. Arrúe. from the simulator. n. Information Processing and Management of Uncertainty in KnowledgeBased Systems (IPMU'96). the filtering block gets results closer to the tendency. Borenstein. pp 14-23. on Information Processing and Management of Uncertainty in Knowledge-Based Systems (IPMU'96). The results.     4. Beom. Conf. although we have no quantitative measure of this response. IEEE J.REFERENCES  B. are very encourageous. 1997 H. which have a great potential of error.the filtering can be tuned for specific ways of working by means of adding more rules or modifying the related parameters (state memory size. "Learning Dynamic Fuzzy Behaviours from Easy Missions". In the previous figures (Fig. Cuesta. . "A Sensor-Based Navigation for a Mobile Robot using Fuzzy Logic and Reinforcement Learning". Robotics and Automation. 1996 A. Barcelona. etc. pp 1223-1228. 1996 R. although an automatic method could be used as well (genetic algorithms. H. vol 25. Cho. USA. Uhrig.R. Bonarini. vol 2.    . Syst. Sixth IEEE Intl. R. 1996 J. Hoffmann. pp 125-131. membership functions.in the normal operation.R. Wellesley. USA.L. In addition to that. 1. Martínez Barberá. Feng. when there are no errors. 1995 A. Everett. pp 265-281. F. specially ultrasonic sonar range finders. Buczak. G.)   . Information Processing and Management of Uncertainty in Knowledge-Based Systems (IPMU'96). pp 464-477. we have performed some test with the real robot and have found that the response of the system was very close to that of the simulator. "Evolutionary Learning of Fuzzy Control Rule Base for an Autonomous Vehicle". "Fuzzy Logic Based Intelligent Agents for Reactive Navigation in Autonomous Systems". Braunstingl. fuzzy learning. . Elsevier Science. Brooks. pp 12391244.). IEEE Trans. 1986 A.
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