A contingent of autonomous Marching Robots: Intricacies of system design and motion control


This paper details the intricacies of system design and the challenges faced in the construction and control of a contingent of four Marching Robots. Two systems, based on different position sensing techniques and control algorithms for the synchronised movement, are presented. The first system uses infrared-red sensing (IR) to make a robot follow a white track on the marching platform beneath. The second system uses a global vision system with a camera mounted on top of the parade field with every robot wearing a “coloured hat” for identification and to facilitate calculation of its real world position and orientation. The movements are synchronized using State Transition Based Supervisory (STBS) control. The robots can move in straight lines and make sharp, accurate turns albeit using different feedback mechanisms. The robots are autonomous and remote-controlled by a PC using Radio Frequency or Infra Red wireless transmission. The control system can be adapted for industrial environment where robots need to collaborate. © 2003 IEEE.

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