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Robotics, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 5 • Date Oct. 2013

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 27
  • Table of contents

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C1
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  • IEEE Transactions on Robotics publication information

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C2
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  • Farewell Editorial

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1069 - 1070
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  • Novel Dihedral-Based Control of Flapping-Wing Aircraft With Application to Perching

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1071 - 1084
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1118 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We describe the design of an aerial robot inspired by birds and the underlying theoretical developments leading to novel control and closed-loop guidance algorithms for a perching maneuver. A unique feature of this robot is that it uses wing articulation to control the flight path angle as well as the heading angle. It lacks a vertical tail for improved agility, which results in unstable lateral-directional dynamics. New closed-loop motion planning algorithms with guaranteed stability are obtained by rewriting the flight dynamic equations in the spatial domain rather than as functions of time, after which dynamic inversion is employed. It is shown that nonlinear dynamic inversion naturally leads to proportional-integral-derivative controllers, thereby providing an exact method for tuning the gains. The capabilities of the proposed bioinspired robot design and its novel closed-loop perching controller have been successfully demonstrated with perched landings on a human hand. View full abstract»

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  • Robots Driven by Compliant Actuators: Optimal Control Under Actuation Constraints

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1085 - 1101
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1301 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Anthropomorphic robots that aim to approach human performance agility and efficiency are typically highly redundant not only in their kinematics but also in actuation. Variable-impedance actuators, used to drive many of these devices, are capable of modulating torque and impedance (stiffness and/or damping) simultaneously, continuously, and independently. These actuators are, however, nonlinear and assert numerous constraints, e.g., range, rate, and effort limits on the dynamics. Finding a control strategy that makes use of the intrinsic dynamics and capacity of compliant actuators for such redundant, nonlinear, and constrained systems is nontrivial. In this study, we propose a framework for optimization of torque and impedance profiles in order to maximize task performance, which is tuned to the complex hardware and incorporating real-world actuation constraints. Simulation study and hardware experiments 1) demonstrate the effects of actuation constraints during impedance control, 2) show applicability of the present framework to simultaneous torque and temporal stiffness optimization under constraints that are imposed by real-world actuators, and 3) validate the benefits of the proposed approach under experimental conditions. View full abstract»

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  • Generalized Modeling of Multilink Cable-Driven Manipulators With Arbitrary Routing Using the Cable-Routing Matrix

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1102 - 1113
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1046 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Multilink cable-driven manipulators offer the compactness of serial mechanisms while benefitting from the advantages of cable-actuated systems. One major challenge in modeling multilink cable-driven manipulators is that the number of combinations in the possible cable-routing increases exponentially with the number of rigid bodies. In this paper, a generalized model for multilink cable-driven serial manipulators with an arbitrary number of links that allow for arbitrary cable routing is presented. Introducing the cable-routing matrix (CRM), it is shown that all possible cable routing can be encapsulated into a single representation. The kinematics and dynamics for the generalized model are derived with respect to the CRM. The advantages of the proposed representation include the simplicity and convenience in modeling and analysis, where all cable routing is inherently considered in a single model. To illustrate this, the inverse dynamics analysis is performed for two example systems: a 2-link 4-DoF manipulator that is actuated by 6 cables and an 8-link 24-DoF mechanism actuated by 76 cables. The results show the validity and scalability of the generalized formulation, allowing for complex systems with arbitrary cable routing to be modeled and analyzed. View full abstract»

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  • The 3-D Spring–Mass Model Reveals a Time-Based Deadbeat Control for Highly Robust Running and Steering in Uncertain Environments

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1114 - 1124
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (929 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Over the past three decades, the spring-mass model has developed into the basic behavior model to study running in animals and robots. In the planar version, this model has helped to reveal and understand the passive stabilization of running in the horizontal and sagittal planes, and to derive from this knowledge control strategies for running robots. However, only few attempts have been made to transfer the knowledge to 3-D locomotion. Here, we show that the 3-D spring-mass model reveals a deadbeat control that does not require feedback about the actual ground level to produce highly robust running and steering in uncertain environments. The control naturally extends the time-based control derived for the planar version of this model and allows it to navigate rough terrain, while stabilizing running and steering. Using this control strategy, we demonstrate in simulation that a human-like system running at 5 ms-1 tolerates frequent ground disturbances up to 30% of the leg length. Moreover, we find that the control outperforms a classical leg-placement strategy in terms of turning rate and disturbance rejection if the relative errors in system energy and the other model parameters stay small ( 10%). Our results suggest that the time-based control can be a powerful alternative for leg-placement strategies in highly maneuverable running robots. View full abstract»

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  • Nested Piezoelectric Cellular Actuators for a Biologically Inspired Camera Positioning Mechanism

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1125 - 1138
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (992 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Using successive stages, or nesting compliant amplification mechanisms, soft actuators with performance suitable for robotic applications can be constructed with piezoelectric ceramic as the active material. This paper presents a mathematical framework that describes the interactions among the various amplification mechanisms in a hierarchical nested structure. A formal treatment of nested amplification mechanisms results in two theorems that describe the stiffness properties of the whole actuator in terms of the properties of each mechanism in the hierarchy. These theorems show that the stiffness properties of the actuator can be computed by considering only the outermost few layers in the nested configuration. By virtue of this hierarchical structure, the actuator also assumes a cellular structure; it functions by summing the effects of on-off inputs coupled by a flexible connective medium. This requires a paradigm shift when selecting control strategies. A multilayer strain amplification mechanism is designed to meet the required range of travel for a biologically inspired camera positioning mechanism, and a switching control method for the actuator's 16 on-off inputs is discussed. View full abstract»

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  • 3-D Localization Method for a Magnetically Actuated Soft Capsule Endoscope and Its Applications

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1139 - 1151
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1180 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper, we present a 3-D localization method for a magnetically actuated soft capsule endoscope (MASCE). The proposed localization scheme consists of three steps. First, MASCE is oriented to be coaxially aligned with an external permanent magnet (EPM). Second, MASCE is axially contracted by the enhanced magnetic attraction of the approaching EPM. Third, MASCE recovers its initial shape by the retracting EPM as the magnetic attraction weakens. The combination of the estimated direction in the coaxial alignment step and the estimated distance in the shape deformation (recovery) step provides the position of MASCE in 3-D. It is experimentally shown that the proposed localization method could provide 2.0-3.7 mm of distance error in 3-D. This study also introduces two new applications of the proposed localization method. First, based on the trace of contact points between the MASCE and the surface of the stomach, the 3-D geometrical model of a synthetic stomach was reconstructed. Next, the relative tissue compliance at each local contact point in the stomach was characterized by measuring the local tissue deformation at each point due to the preloading force. Finally, the characterized relative tissue compliance parameter was mapped onto the geometrical model of the stomach toward future use in disease diagnosis. View full abstract»

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  • Control of Nonprehensile Rolling Manipulation: Balancing a Disk on a Disk

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1152 - 1161
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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2101 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents feedback stabilization control of a rolling manipulation system called the disk-on-disk. The system consists of two disks in which the upper disk (object) is free to roll on the lower disk (hand) under the influence of gravity. The goal is to stabilize the object at the unstable upright position directly above the hand. We show that it is possible to stabilize the object at the upright position, while the hand or object rotates to a specific orientation or spins at a constant velocity. We use full-state feedback linearization to derive control laws. We present simulation as well as experimental results demonstrating the controllers. View full abstract»

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  • Precision Control of Modular Robot Manipulators: The VDC Approach With Embedded FPGA

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1162 - 1179
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    A systematic solution to precision control of modular robot manipulators without using joint torque sensing is presented in this paper for the first time. Using the virtual decomposition control (VDC) approach with embedded field programmable gate array (FPGA) logic devices, the proposed solution solves a long-standing problem of lacking control precision fundamentally associated with the modular robot manipulators. As a result, this solution allows modular robot manipulators to possess not only their traditional advantages (such as reconfigurability, flexibility, versatility, and ease of use) but precision control capability as well. A hierarchical master-slave control structure is used, which is supported by a high-speed communication system modified from SpaceWire (IEEE 1355), transferring a limited amount of data between the master and slave nodes at a rate of 1000 Hz. In each module, the FPGA logic implementation uses multiple sampling periods of 163.8 μs, 1.28 μs, and 20 ns. A gravity counterbalance spring provides a design option for the purpose of energy saving. Experimental results demonstrate unprecedented control precision, which is attributed to the use of both the VDC approach and embedded FPGA implementation. The ratio of the maximum position tracking error to the maximum velocity reaches 0.00012 s-more than an order of magnitude better than available technologies in control of robots with harmonic drives. The solution presented in this paper is also applicable to integrated robot manipulators using embedded FPGA controllers. View full abstract»

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  • Time-Optimal Motion Strategies for Capturing an Omnidirectional Evader Using a Differential Drive Robot

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1180 - 1196
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1141 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper, we consider the problem of capturing an omnidirectional evader using a differential drive robot in an obstacle-free environment. At the beginning of this game, the evader is at a distance (the capture distance) from the pursuer. The goal of the evader is to keep the pursuer farther than this capture distance for as long as possible. The goal of the pursuer is to capture the evader as soon as possible. In this paper, we make the following contributions. We present closed-form representations of the motion primitives and time-optimal strategies for each player; these strategies are in Nash equilibrium, meaning that any unilateral deviation of each player from these strategies does not provide to such player benefit toward the goal of winning the game. We propose a partition of the playing space into mutually disjoint regions where the strategies of the players are well established. This partition is represented as a graph, which exhibits properties that guarantee global optimality. We also analyze the decision problem of the game and we present the conditions defining the winner. View full abstract»

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  • Randomized Kinodynamic Planning for Robust Visual Servoing

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1197 - 1211
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2109 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We incorporate a randomized kinodynamic path planning approach with image-based control of a robotic arm equipped with an in-hand camera. The proposed approach yields continuously differentiable camera trajectories by taking camera dynamics into account, while accounting for a critical set of image and physical constraints at the planning stage. The proposed planner explores the camera state space for permissible trajectories by iteratively extending a search tree in this space and simultaneously tracking these trajectories in the robot configuration space. The planned camera trajectories are projected into the image space to obtain desired feature trajectories which are then tracked using an image-based visual servoing scheme. We validate the effectiveness of the proposed framework in incorporating the aforementioned constraints through a number of visual servoing experiments on a six-degree-of-freedom robotic arm. We also provide empirical results that demonstrate its performance in the presence of uncertainties, and accordingly suggest additional planning strategies to increase robustness with respect to possible deviations from planned trajectories. View full abstract»

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  • Epipolar Visual Servoing for Multirobot Distributed Consensus

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1212 - 1225
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1258 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper, we give a distributed solution to the problem of making a team of nonholonomic robots reach consensus about their orientations using monocular cameras. We consider a scheme where the motions of the robots are decided using nearest-neighbor rules. Each robot is equipped with a camera and can only exchange visual information with a subset of the other robots. The main contribution of this paper is a new controller that uses the epipoles that are computed from the images provided by neighboring robots, eventually reaching consensus in their orientations without the necessity of directly observing each other. In addition, the controller only requires a partial knowledge of the calibration of the cameras in order to achieve the desired configuration. We also demonstrate that the controller is robust to changes in the topology of the network and we use this robustness to propose strategies to reduce the computational load of the robots. Finally, we test our controller in simulations using a virtual environment and with real robots moving in indoor and outdoor scenarios. View full abstract»

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  • A Quadratic-Complexity Observability-Constrained Unscented Kalman Filter for SLAM

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1226 - 1243
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2622 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper addresses two key limitations of the unscented Kalman filter (UKF) when applied to the simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) problem: the cubic computational complexity in the number of states and the inconsistency of the state estimates. To address the first issue, we introduce a new sampling strategy for the UKF, which has constant computational complexity. As a result, the overall computational complexity of UKF-based SLAM becomes of the same order as that of the extended Kalman filter (EKF)-based SLAM, i.e., quadratic in the size of the state vector. Furthermore, we investigate the inconsistency issue by analyzing the observability properties of the linear-regression-based model employed by the UKF. Based on this analysis, we propose a new algorithm, termed observability-constrained (OC)-UKF, which ensures the unobservable subspace of the UKF's linear-regression-based system model is of the same dimension as that of the nonlinear SLAM system. This results in substantial improvement in the accuracy and consistency of the state estimates. The superior performance of the OC-UKF over other state-of-the-art SLAM algorithms is validated by both Monte-Carlo simulations and real-world experiments. View full abstract»

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  • Localization Confidence Domains via Set Inversion on Short-Term Trajectory

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1244 - 1256
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (8315 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The knowledge of localization uncertainties is of prime importance when the navigation of intelligent vehicles has to deal with safety issues. This paper presents a robust estimation method that is able to quantify the localization confidence based on interval analysis and constraint propagation. First, tightly coupled position domains are computed by constraint propagation on Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements and a precise 3-D map of the drivable area. Since GPS is prone to satellite masking and wrong measurements in urban areas, a second stage provides localization integrity and information availability by the use of a position and proprioceptive data history. A robust constraint propagation algorithm is employed to compute the current vehicle pose. It is able to handle erroneous positions with a chosen integrity risk. Experiments carried out in urban canyons illustrate the performance of the method in comparison with a particle filter. Despite bad satellite visibility, full positioning availability is obtained, and errors are less than 5.1 m during 95% of the trial. In opposition to the particle filter, confidence domains are consistent with ground truth, which confirms the high integrity of the method. View full abstract»

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  • Safety Assessment and Control of Robotic Manipulators Using Danger Field

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1257 - 1270
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    This paper presents a synergistic approach to danger assessment and safety-oriented control of articulated robots that are based on a quantity called danger field. This quantity captures the state of the robot as a whole and indicates how dangerous the current posture and velocity of the robot are to the objects in the environment. The field itself is invariant with respect to objects around the robot and can be computed in any given point of the robot's workspace using measurements from the proprioceptive sensors. Furthermore, the danger field can be expressed in the closed form, which enables its fast computation. Apart from being a pure safety assessment, the danger field provides a natural prelude to safety-oriented control strategy. Namely, the information about the danger field can easily be fed back to shape standard control schemes in order to make the motion of the robot safer to the environment. The proposed method is validated through simulations and experiments. View full abstract»

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  • Wheel–Soil Interaction Model for Rover Simulation and Analysis Using Elastoplasticity Theory

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1271 - 1288
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2634 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A novel approach is proposed for the modeling of rigid-wheel and soft-soil interaction to efficiently compute normal and shear stress distributions in the contact area. The authors propose a velocity field in the vicinity of the contact area based on the physical nature of the problem. Thereupon, the incremental changes to the stress field are computed by resorting to elastoplasticity theory and an appropriate already existing constitutive relation for soil. The proposed approach leads to results that agree well with those obtained using well-established terramechanics models, while addressing some of their shortcomings. In addition, the proposed approach uses generalized velocities of the wheel as inputs, which makes it compatible with dynamic models of multibody systems. The dynamic slip-sinkage behavior of the wheel and the semielliptical shape of the normal stress distribution under the wheel are natural outcomes of the proposed model. Experimental investigation under various ranges of wheel slippage shows good agreement with the data available in the literature. View full abstract»

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  • Sliding Mode Control of Steerable Needles

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1289 - 1299
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (803 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Steerable needles can potentially increase the accuracy of needle-based diagnosis and therapy delivery, provided they can be adequately controlled based on medical image information. We propose a novel sliding mode control law that can be used to deliver the tip of a flexible asymmetric-tipped needle to a desired point, or to track a desired trajectory within tissue. The proposed control strategy requires no a priori knowledge of model parameters, has bounded input speeds, and requires little computational resources. We show that if the standard nonholonomic model for tip-steered needles holds, then the control law will converge to desired targets in a reachable workspace, within a tolerance that can be defined by the control parameters. Experimental results validate the control law for target points and trajectory following in phantom tissue and ex vivo liver. Experiments with targets that move during insertion illustrate robustness to disturbances caused by tissue deformation. View full abstract»

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  • Kinematic Design of Redundant Robotic Manipulators for Spatial Positioning that are Optimally Fault Tolerant

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1300 - 1307
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1269 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This work presents a method for identifying all the kinematic designs of spatial positioning manipulators that are optimally fault tolerant in a local sense. We use a common definition of fault tolerance, i.e., the post-failure Jacobian possesses the largest possible minimum singular value over all possible single locked-joint failures. The large family of physical manipulators that can achieve this optimally failure tolerant configuration is then parameterized and categorized. We develop a general computational technique to evaluate the resulting manipulators in terms of their global kinematic properties, with an emphasis on failure tolerance. Several manipulators with a range of desirable kinematic properties are presented and analyzed, with a specific example of optimizing over a given class of manipulators that possess a specified kinematic constraint. View full abstract»

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  • Model Predictive Formation Control Using Branch-and-Bound Compatible With Collision Avoidance Problems

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1308 - 1317
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1456 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents a model predictive control (MPC) approach for multivehicle formation taking into account collision avoidance and velocity limitation with reduced computational burden. The first part of the paper constructs a formation control law using feedback linearization with MPC in order to reduce the optimal control problem to a mixed-integer quadratic programming problem for a group of unicycles. The second part constructs a new branch-and-bound (B& B) -based algorithm for collision-avoidance problems. Numerical examples and experiments show that the proposed method significantly reduces computation time. View full abstract»

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  • Minimum-Jerk Velocity Planning for Mobile Robot Applications

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1317 - 1326
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (900 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper studies an assigned-time velocity-planning problem for robotic systems that are subject to velocity and acceleration constraints. The planning problem, which is justified by several robotic applications, poses feasibility issues that are investigated in this paper. In particular, this paper shows that feasible solutions exist if and only if proper interpolating conditions are assigned, and proposes an efficient planning strategy, that is suitable for online implementations. Available degrees of freedom are used to smooth the velocity function by minimizing its maximum jerk. View full abstract»

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  • Distributed Control of Multirobot Systems With Global Connectivity Maintenance

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1326 - 1332
    Cited by:  Papers (9)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (542 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This study introduces a control algorithm that, exploiting a completely decentralized estimation strategy for the algebraic connectivity of the graph, ensures the connectivity maintenance property for multi robot systems, in the presence of a generic (bounded) additional control term. This result is obtained by driving the robots along the negative gradient of an appropriately defined function of the algebraic connectivity. The proposed strategy is then enhanced with the introduction of the concept of critical robots, that is robots for which the loss of a single communication link might cause the disconnection of the communication graph. Limiting the control action to critical robots will be shown to reduce the control effort that is introduced by the proposed connectivity maintenance control law and to mitigate its effect on the additional (desired) control term. View full abstract»

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  • Robust Global Feature Based Data Association With a Sparse Bit Optimized Maximum Clique Algorithm

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1332 - 1339
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    This paper presents a robust solution to the mobile robotics data association problem based on solving the maximum clique problem (MCP) in a typically sparse correspondence graph, which contains compatibility information between pairs of observations and landmarks. Bit sparse optimizations are designed and implemented in a new algorithm BBMCS, which reduces computation and memory requirements of a leading general purpose maximum clique solver, to make it possibly the best exact sparse MCP algorithm currently found in the literature. BBMCS is reported to achieve very good results in terms of robustness with few assumptions on noise and visibility, while managing very reasonable computation time and memory usage even for complex large data association problems. View full abstract»

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  • Open Access

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1340
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Freely Available from IEEE

Aims & Scope

IEEE Transactions on Robotics covers both theory and applications on topics including: kinematics, dynamics, control, and simulation of robots and intelligent machines and systems.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Frank Park
Seoul National University