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An unsupervised neural network for low-level control of a wheeled mobile robot: noise resistance, stability, and hardware implementation

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3 Author(s)
Gaudiano, P. ; Dept. of Cognitive & Neural Syst., Boston Univ., MA, USA ; Zalama, E. ; Coronado, J.L.

We have recently introduced a neural network mobile robot controller (NETMORC). This controller, based on previously developed neural network models of biological sensory-motor control, autonomously learns the forward and inverse odometry of a differential drive robot through an unsupervised learning-by-doing cycle. After an initial learning phase, the controller can move the robot to an arbitrary stationary or moving target while compensating for noise and other forms of disturbance, such as wheel slippage or changes in the robot's plant. In addition, the forward odometric map allows the robot to reach targets in the absence of sensory feedback. The controller is also able to adapt in response to long-term changes in the robot's plant, such as a change in the radius of the wheels. In this article we review the NETMORC architecture and describe its simplified algorithmic implementation, we present new, quantitative results on NETMORC's performance and adaptability under noise-free and noisy conditions, we compare NETMORC's performance on a trajectory-following task with the performance of an alternative controller, and we describe preliminary results on the hardware implementation of NETMORC with the mobile robot ROBUTER

Published in:

Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 3 )