Field and Service Robotics pp 3-12
Terrain Modeling and Following Using a Compliant Manipulator for Humanitarian Demining Applications
Operations with flexible, compliant manipulators over large workspaces relative to the manipulator are complicated by noise, vibration, and measurement bias. These difficulties are compounded in unstructured environments, such as those encountered in humanitarian demining. By taking advantage of the static structure of the terrain and the manipulator’s fundamental mechanical characteristics, a series of adaptive corrections and filters refine noisy topographical measurements. These filters along with a shaped actuation scheme can generate smooth and well-controlled trajectories that allow for terrain surface following. Experimental testing was performed on a field robot with a compliant, 3 m long hybrid manipulator and a stereo vision system. The proposed method provides a vertical tracking precision of ±5 mm on a variety of ground clearings, with tip scanning speeds of up to 0.5 m/s. As such, it can agilely move the attached sensor(s) through precise scanning trajectories that are very close to the ground. This method improves overall detection and generation of precise maps of suspected mine locations.
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