An affordable miniature car-like robot to test control and estimation algorithms

{Hardware} experiment carried out by the researchers. Credit: Bodmer et al.

The event and testing of algorithms for robotics functions usually requires evaluations in each simulated and bodily environments. Some algorithms, nevertheless, will be tough to deploy in easy {hardware} experiments, because of the excessive prices of robotics {hardware} or to difficulties related to organising this {hardware} inside robotics labs. Furthermore, typically builders lack dependable software program that will permit them to combine their algorithms on a selected robotics platform.

A crew of researchers at ETH Zurich’s Institute for Dynamic Methods and Management not too long ago launched a brand new miniature car-like robotic and an related software program package that would simplify the testing of some algorithms for robotics functions. Their {hardware} and software solutions, launched in a paper pre-published on arXiv, are extra reasonably priced than many related platforms and are simpler to arrange inside laboratory settings.

“This paper presents an open-source miniature carlike robot with low-cost sensing and a pipeline for optimization-based system identification, state estimation, and control,” Sabrina Bodmer, Lukas Vogel and their colleagues wrote of their paper. “The overall robotics platform comes at a cost of less than $700 and thus significantly simplifies the verification of advanced algorithms in a realistic setting.”

The {hardware} developed by Bodmer, Vogel and their colleagues is an upgraded model of Chronos, a low-cost car-like robotic that they offered on the 2023 IEEE Worldwide Convention on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). The brand new model of the miniature automobile has an analogous physique construction, however it additionally contains custom-built wheel encoders and an off-the-shelf Lighthouse positioning deck.

The info collected by the automobile’s sensors can be utilized to estimate the state of the automobile with excessive accuracy. The researchers additionally developed firmware, software program, and detailed {hardware} designs that could possibly be utilized by different groups to deploy their automobile inside their laboratories.

“We also present a modified bicycle model with Pacejka tire forces to model the dynamics of the considered all-wheel drive vehicle and to prevent singularities of the model at low velocities,” Bodmer, Vogel and their colleagues wrote. “Furthermore, we provide an optimization-based system identification approach and a moving horizon estimation (MHE) scheme.”

Notably, the robotics platform developed by Bodmer, Vogel and their colleagues is modular, which signifies that it may be tailored to check algorithms for varied different techniques, together with mannequin rockets and multi-agent robotic groups. The researchers have already examined their {hardware} and software program in a number of real-world experiments, which confirmed their potential for robotics analysis.

“In extensive hardware experiments, we show that the presented system identification approach results in a model with high prediction accuracy, while the MHE results in accurate state estimates,” Bodmer, Vogel and their colleagues wrote. “Finally, the overall closed-loop system is shown to perform well even in the presence of sensor failure for limited time intervals.”

The crew’s hardware, firmware and software program was made available on GitHub and will quickly be utilized by others throughout the group to check their algorithms in a laboratory setting. The brand new robotic’s comparatively low value and its dependable supporting software program might in the end make it a aggressive platform for tutorial analysis and laboratory work.

Extra data:
Sabrina Bodmer et al, Optimization-Primarily based System Identification and Transferring Horizon Estimation Utilizing Low-Price Sensors for a Miniature Automotive-Like Robotic, arXiv (2024). DOI: 10.48550/arxiv.2404.08362

Journal data:

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An reasonably priced miniature car-like robotic to check management and estimation algorithms (2024, April 29)
retrieved 29 April 2024

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