Design, construction and testing of a prototype holonomic autonomous vehicle
Volland, Kirk N.
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United States Department of Defense (DoD) autonomous vehicle efforts have concentrated research in areas that support development of unmanned ground and air battlefield vehicles. Little attention has been paid to applying robotics to automate routine tasks. A robotic solution consisting of a prototype holonomic vehicle is proposed to search for, detect, and remove debris that could cause foreign object damage (FOD) to turbine-engine aircraft operated from ships. Holonomic, or omnidirectional, motion was realized by solving the system of equations governing the vehicle's motion atop a plane surface. Translational motion without chassis rotation was achieved through motion control using a single board computer, a pulse width modulation (PWM) and optical isolation circuit, and a low-cost inertial measurement unit (IMU). Obstacle detection and avoidance was realized by constructing a microprocessor-controlled scanning ultrasonic sonar detector head and controller circuit. The sonar detector demonstrated 360 (degrees) coverage and centimeter resolution. Rudimentary autonomous operation and wireless manual control via a Java graphical user interface (GUI) were achieved in an indoor environment.
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