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Climbing control of autonomous mobile robot with estimation of wheel slip and wheel-ground contact angle


The objective of this work is to control a delivery robot equipped with a passive bogie that can successfully climb up steps of various sizes and move on uneven terrain in outdoor environments. The kinematic model of a six-wheel mobile robot is described in detail. Jacobian matrices and inverse kinematics are obtained to get the velocity of each wheel based on the desired velocity of the robot center of mass in conjunction with the terrain information obtained by the onboard sensors according to the contact angle estimation between the wheel and ground. A slip control is implemented based on slip ratio to adjust the wheel velocity when the slip is detected. Simulation and experimental results verify the effectiveness of the approach that enables the robot autonomously climbing up on different steps and uneven terrain.

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This work was supported by the Industry Core Technology Development Project, 20005062, Development of Artificial Intelligence Robot Autonomous Navigation Technology for Agile Movement in Crowded Space, funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Republic of Korea).

This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2020R1A4A1018227).

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Correspondence to Hyungpil Moon.

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Nabih Pico received his B.Sc. degree in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering from Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL), in 2014. From 2014 to 2018, he worked as an Assistant Lecturer in robotics with ESPOL. He joined Sungkyunkwan University, Korea, in 2018 to pursue his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the Robotics and Intelligent System Engineering Laboratory. His current research interest includes autonomous mobile robot, design, control, and analysis of robot-terrain.

Hong-ryul Jung received his B.SE. degree in Mechanical Engineering and Self-designed Transdisciplinary Studies (Artificial Intelligence) in 2017 from Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the Robotics and Intelligent System Engineering Laboratory of the same university. His main research interest is imitation learning for task and motion planning.

Juan Medrano received his B.Sc. degree in Mechatronics Engineering from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala in 2014 and M.Sc. in the same field from Sungkyunkwan University in 2020, where he currently is a Ph.D. student. His research interests are autonomous robot navigation, computer vision and machine learning.

Meseret Abayebas received the B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from Addis Ababa Institute of Technology, Ethiopia in 2015. Before starting his Ph.D., he worked as an Assistant Lecturer with the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology. He joined Sungkyunkwan University, Korea, in 2016 to pursue his Ph.D. degree with the Robotics and Intelligent System Engineering Laboratory. His current research areas lie in modeling, analysis, and nonlinear control theory with applications to mechatronic systems, including robot manipulators and others. He also works on physical human-robot interaction.

Dong Yeop Kim received his B.S. and M.S. in electrical and electronic engineering from Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea, in 2008 and 2010, respectively. He is a senior researcher in KETI (Korea Electronics Technology Institute) from 2010, and a Ph.D. candidate in electrical and electronic engineering at Yonsei University. His current research interest includes robot navigation, SLAM, sensor fusion, deep learning, and robotic intelligence.

Jung-Hoon Hwang received his B.S. in electrical and electronic engineering from Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea, in 1997. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), in 1999 and 2007, respectively. He is a Principal Researcher in KETI (Korea Electronics Technology Institute) from 2007, and also the Director of the Intelligent Robotics Research Center of KETI. His current research interests include robotic manipulation, robot navigation, haptic, human robot interface, deep learning, and robot intelligence.

Hyungpil Moon received his B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from the Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, South Korea, in 1996 and 1998, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, in 2005. From 2006 to 2007, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. In 2008, he joined the Faculty of the School of Mechanical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, South Korea, where he is currently a professor. His current research interests include robotic manipulation, SLAM, and polymer-based sensors and actuators.

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Pico, N., Jung, Hr., Medrano, J. et al. Climbing control of autonomous mobile robot with estimation of wheel slip and wheel-ground contact angle. J Mech Sci Technol 36, 959–968 (2022).

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  • Autonomous mobile robot
  • Contact angle estimation
  • Kinematic analysis
  • Slip control