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Volume 26 Issue 9 - Publication Date: 1 September 2007
 
Path Manifold-based Kinematic Control of Wheeled Mobile Robots Considering Physical Constraints
 
Y. Kim and M. A. Minor Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
 
This paper presents a time invariant kinematic motion controller for wheeled mobile robots. Actuator capability, mechanical design, and traction forces governed by terrain features provide velocity and curvature limitations that are used in the design of the controller. A novel path manifold that considers curvature limitations is introduced to provide a desired path shape and convergence to the reference posture or trajectory. Lyapunov techniques are then used to derive a control law that asymptotically converges the robot to an arbitrarily small neighborhood of the path manifold. Posture regulation, path following, and trajectory tracking capability to a similarly scaled neighborhood of the target are provided. Controller parameters are optimized and initial conditions are identified that satisfy physical constraints of the robot and provide smooth commands. Curvature boundaries and asymptotic convergence naturally limit allowable initial conditions and are resolved by driving the robot to intermediate goal points within regions of allowable initial conditions. Posture regulation is evaluated in simulation and experiment on a Compliant Framed wheeled Modular Mobile Robot (CFMMR) for two different terrain surfaces. Trajectory tracking and path following of constant curvature references are evaluated in simulation and experiment, respectively.
 
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