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Pneumatic Sensor: A Complete Coverage Improvement Approach for Robotic Cleaners

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3 Author(s)
Chung-Hsien Kuo ; Department of Electrical Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan ; Hung-Chyun Chou ; Sheng-Yu Tasi

Robotic cleaners are market-proven service robots. The most challenging issue of producing a robotic cleaner is to maximize its coverage performance. The complete coverage performance depends on the obstacle detection sensors as well as on the navigation systems. Conventional contact, infrared, and ultrasonic sensors perform either collision-based or collision-free perceptions with obstacles, and these sensors represent a poor coverage performance when the robotic cleaner moves beside the obstacle or wall. Therefore, this paper proposes a soft-contact-based pneumatic sensor with four closed chambers to continuously contact objects with a certain level of force when the robotic cleaner touches the obstacle or wall so that the complete coverage performance could be improved. Practically, a robotic cleaner navigation system is developed using the field programmable gate array. The finite state machine is further used to model the control strategy of the navigation systems according to the sensor data and elapsed time. Finally, several experiments were evaluated based on the path of navigation and the percentage of coverage with elapsed time to verify our approaches, and the improved complete coverage performance is verified by comparing the performance of iRobot Create using the same test environments and conditions.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement  (Volume:60 ,  Issue: 4 )