Title: Development of a navigation system for heterogeneous mobile robots

Authors: Praneel Chand, Dale A. Carnegie

Addresses: School of Engineering and Computer Science, Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), Wellington, New Zealand and School of Engineering and Physics, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. ' School of Engineering and Computer Science, Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), Wellington, New Zealand

Abstract: Navigation systems often play an important role in mobile robot control. Many existing mobile robot navigation systems have been implemented and tested for particular types of robots. However, in some implementations, such as heterogeneous multi-robot systems, a generic navigation system can offer potential advantages. In such applications, a generic navigation system should be able account for robots with varying size, shape, drive type and sensor quantities. Additionally, it should be capable of offering a high degree of flexibility for navigation in known and unknown environments. Hence, a single generic navigation system that combines the benefits of reactive and deliberative control has been developed for heterogeneous mobile robots. The design of the hierarchical hybrid navigation system is based on the A* algorithm, a polar histogram and a modified dynamic window approach. Simulation experiments with three heterogeneous robots in a range of environments have been conducted. Performance of reactive navigation and hybrid reactive-deliberative navigation in known and unknown environments is evaluated. Favourable results are achieved with the developed reactive system. Hybrid reactive-deliberative navigation offers improved performance over reactive navigation in known environments. Deliberative control does not affect performance significantly in unknown environments. Initial hardware experiments demonstrate that the navigation system can work on real robots.

Keywords: mobile robots; navigation systems; robot navigation; reactive control; obstacle avoidance; hybrid reactive-deliberative navigation; robot path planning; robot control; simulation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISTA.2011.040349

International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications, 2011 Vol.10 No.3, pp.250 - 278

Received: 08 Jul 2010
Accepted: 11 Nov 2010

Published online: 24 May 2011 *

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