Master Thesis Defense: Soner Ulun
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UAV Based Group Coordination of UGVs

Soner Ulun
Mechatronics, M.Sc. Thesis, 2013 

Thesis Jury
Prof. Dr. Mustafa Ünel (Thesis Supervisor), Prof. Dr. Asif Sabanovic, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kemalettin Erbatur, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mahmut F. Akşit, Asst. Prof. Dr. Hakan Erdoğan

Date &Time: July, 10th, 2013 - 10:00

Place: FENS L062

Keywords: Autonomous Mobile Robot, UAV, UGV, Control, Coordination 

 

Abstract


Coordination of autonomous mobile robots has received significant attention during the last two decades with the emergence of small, lightweight and low power embedded systems. Coordinated motion of heterogenous robots is important due to the fact that unique advantages of different robots might be combined to increase the overall task efficiency of the system.

In this thesis, a new coordination framework is developed for a heterogeneous robot system, composed of multiple Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), that operates in an environment where individual robots work collaboratively in order to accomplish a predefined goal. UAV, a quadrotor, detects the target in the environment and provides a feasible trajectory from an initial configuration to a final target location. UGVs, a group of nonholonomic wheeled mobile robots, follow a virtual leader which is created as the projection of UAV's 3D position onto the horizontal plane. The UAV broadcasts its position at certain frequency to all UGVs. Two different coordination models are developed. In the dynamic coordination model, reference trajectories for each robot is generated from the motion of nodal masses located at each UGV and connected by virtual springs and dampers. Springs have adaptable parameters that allow the desired formation to be achieved In the kinematic coordination model, the position of the virtual leader and distances from the two closest neighbors are directly utilized to create linear and angular velocity references for each UGV. Several coordinated tasks are presented and the results are verified by simulations where different number of UGVs are employed and certain amount of communication delays between the vehicles are also considered. Simulation results are quite promising and form a basis for future experimental work on the topic.