Autonomous Robots

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 49–67 | Cite as

Fault detection in autonomous robots based on fault injection and learning

  • Anders Lyhne ChristensenEmail author
  • Rehan O’Grady
  • Mauro Birattari
  • Marco Dorigo


In this paper, we study a new approach to fault detection for autonomous robots. Our hypothesis is that hardware faults change the flow of sensory data and the actions performed by the control program. By detecting these changes, the presence of faults can be inferred. In order to test our hypothesis, we collect data from three different tasks performed by real robots. During a number of training runs, we record sensory data from the robots while they are operating normally and after a fault has been injected. We use back-propagation neural networks to synthesize fault detection components based on the data collected in the training runs. We evaluate the performance of the trained fault detectors in terms of number of false positives and time it takes to detect a fault. The results show that good fault detectors can be obtained. We extend the set of possible faults and go on to show that a single fault detector can be trained to detect several faults in both a robot’s sensors and actuators. We show that fault detectors can be synthesized that are robust to variations in the task, and we show how a fault detector can be trained to allow one robot to detect faults that occur in another robot.


Fault detection Fault injection Learning Model-free Mobile robots 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anders Lyhne Christensen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rehan O’Grady
    • 1
  • Mauro Birattari
    • 1
  • Marco Dorigo
    • 1
  1. 1.IRIDIA, CoDEUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium

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