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Error eliminating rapid ultrasonic firing for mobile robot obstacle avoidance

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2 Author(s)
J. Borenstein ; Dept. of Mech. Eng. & Appl. Mech., Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; Y. Koren

This paper introduces error eliminating rapid ultrasonic firing (EERUF), a new method for firing multiple ultrasonic sensors in mobile robot applications. EERUF allows ultrasonic sensors to fire at rates that are five to ten times faster than those customary in conventional applications. This is possible because EERUF reduces the number of erroneous readings due to ultrasonic noise by one to two orders of magnitude. While faster firing rates improve the reliability and robustness of mobile robot obstacle avoidance and are necessary for safe travel at higher speed (e.g., V>0.3 m/sec), they introduce more ultrasonic noise and increase the occurrence rate of crosstalk. However, EERUF almost eliminates crosstalk, making fast firing feasible. Furthermore, ERRUF's unique noise rejection capability allows multiple mobile robots to collaborate in the same environment, even if their ultrasonic sensors operate at the same frequencies. The authors have implemented and tested the EERUF method on a mobile robot and they present experimental results. With EERUF, a mobile robot was able to traverse an obstacle course of densely spaced, pencil-thin (8 mm-diameter) poles at up to 1 m/sec

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 1 )