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In this paper we derive a new capability for robots to measure relative direction, or Angle-of-Arrival (AOA), to other robots, while operating in non-line-of-sight and unmapped environments, without requiring external infrastructure. We do so by capturing all of the paths that a WiFi signal traverses as it travels from a transmitting to a receiving robot in the team, which we term as an AOA profile. The key intuition behind our approach is to emulate antenna arrays in the air as a robot moves freely in 2D or 3D space. The small differences in the phase and amplitude of WiFi signals are thus processed with knowledge of a robots’ local displacements (often provided via inertial sensors) to obtain the profile, via a method akin to Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). The main contribution of this work is the development of i) a framework to accommodate arbitrary 2D and 3D trajectories, as well as continuous mobility of both transmitting and receiving robots, while computing AOA profiles between them and ii) an accompanying analysis that provides a lower bound on variance of AOA estimation as a function of robot trajectory geometry that is based on the Cramer Rao Bound and antenna array theory. Thismore »
Soft robots have shown great potential to enable safe interactions with unknown environments due to their inherent compliance and variable stiffness. However, without knowledge of potential contacts, a soft robot could exhibit rigid behaviors in a goal-reaching task and collide into obstacles. In this paper, we introduce a Sliding Mode Augmented by Reactive Transitioning (SMART) controller to detect the contact events, adjust the robot’s desired trajectory, and reject estimated disturbances in a goal reaching task. We employ a sliding mode controller to track the desired trajectory with a nonlinear disturbance observer (NDOB) to estimate the lumped disturbance, and a switching algorithm to adjust the desired robot trajectories. The proposed controller is validated on a pneumatic-driven fabric soft robot whose dynamics is described by a new extended rigid-arm model to fit the actuator design. A stability analysis of the proposed controller is also presented. Experimental results show that, despite modeling uncertainties, the robot can detect obstacles, adjust the reference trajectories to maintain compliance, and recover to track the original desired path once the obstacle is removed. Without force sensors, the proposed model-based controller can adjust the robot’s stiffness based on the estimated disturbance to achieve goal reaching and compliant interaction withmore »
In this paper, we develop the analytical framework for a novel Wireless signal-based Sensing capability for Robotics (WSR) by leveraging a robots’ mobility in 3D space. It allows robots to primarily measure relative direction, or Angle-of-Arrival (AOA), to other robots, while operating in non-line-of-sight unmapped environments and without requiring external infrastructure. We do so by capturing all of the paths that a wireless signal traverses as it travels from a transmitting to a receiving robot in the team, which we term as an AOA profile. The key intuition behind our approach is to enable a robot to emulate antenna arrays as it moves freely in 2D and 3D space. The small differences in the phase of the wireless signals are thus processed with knowledge of robots’ local displacement to obtain the profile, via a method akin to Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). The main contribution of this work is the development of (i) a framework to accommodate arbitrary 2D and 3D motion, as well as continuous mobility of both signal transmitting and receiving robots, while computing AOA profiles between them and (ii) a Cramer–Rao Bound analysis, based on antenna array theory, that provides a lower bound on the variance in AOAmore »
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