Mobile Robot Control 2024 Optimus Prime

From Control Systems Technology Group
Jump to navigation Jump to search


We are Optimus Prime, a team of six members applying various control techniques and coding skills to optimize a robot for restaurant environments. Our goal is to enable the robot to efficiently deliver orders from the kitchen to the tables, even when faced with various obstacles. This project focuses on ensuring precise and reliable performance, ultimately improving service efficiency and the overall dining experience.

Group Members

Name student ID
Yuvan Dwaraga 1563793
Wiktor Bocian 1628798
Ramakrishnan Rajasekar 1979027
Ariyanayag Ramesh Skandan 2012618
Abhir Adiverekar 1984136
Suryakumar Hariharan 1974076

Exercise 1 - The art of not crashing

This exercise aims to enhance our understanding of control techniques and obstacle avoidance algorithms.

Solution 1

The odometry and laser data were obtained based on the instructions from the manual, enabling the robot to be aware of its surroundings. Although this sensor data does not provide instructions for the robot to stop or go when an obstacle is on its way, a discussion was held to include a constant safe distance value, which ensures that the robot maintains a safe distance from obstacles and avoids collisions. Loops were also introduced as the robot operates to check whether the obstacles are close to the robot or not. Specifically, if an obstacle is detected within a certain range less than the predefined safe distance (0.5 meters) the robot will come to a halt. This algorithm ensures that the robot can navigate in its surroundings safely.

Simulation of the robot stopping

Solution 2

Advancements to the previous solution were made by introducing rotation values and forward motion value to enhance the robot's performance. These values were effective when the obstacle is too close to the robot. The stoppage of the robot comes into play and the rotation values allow it to rotate with movement restriction and later it allows the robot to move in the forward direction with constant units. This approach ensures that the robot not only stops to avoid immediate collisions but also actively seeks a safe route forward. Overall, the combination of a constant safe distance, rotation and forward actions allows the robot to perform more efficiently.

Learnings from solution

The robot's performance in this case was evidenced in both simulation and in practical sessions. Alterations in the code were made so that, in case of the obstacle detection, the robot was made to move in the x direction in adherence to the safe distance.

Simulation of the robot movement in x direction

Practical session

I am not able to link with videos .mp4 files maybe only jpeg are allowed. Not sure though.

Exercise 2 - Local navigation

Artificial potential fields


Our motivation for choosing the artificial potential field algorithm lies in its effectiveness for real-time obstacle avoidance and smooth navigation. This approach enables our robot to dynamically manoeuvre around obstacles by leveraging attractive and repulsive forces, ensuring efficient path planning.


Learnings from each solution

Visual representation of sim

Practical video

Pros and cons

Dynamic window approach


Our motivation for choosing the Dynamic Window Approach (DWA) method is its ability to optimize both velocity and trajectory in real-time for safe and efficient navigation. This algorithm allows our robot to dynamically adjust its path by considering its kinematic constraints and the surrounding obstacles, ensuring precise and responsive movement.


Learnings from each solution

Visual representation of sim

Practical video

Pros and cons

Exercise 3 - Global path planning

A* algorithm

Inflated walls with dilation size equal to 1

Probabilistic Road Map (PRM)

To implement the path planning algorithm a set of the possible paths needs to be created on the map that will be used to find an optimal one needs to be created. To do that the probabilistic roadmap method is used that generates the paths between randomly generated points on the map.

  • Wall inflation
Inflated walls with dilation size equal to 2

Because of the size of the robot if the walls on the map would have the same size as in the reality the chance of robot clipping the wall or crashing it becomes high since it is not just a point in reality. To avoid that the walls on the map need to be enlarged. To do that dilation on the map image is used. To do that, the map colors are first inverted since dilation works on white parts of the binary image. It is done be specifying the type and size of the Kernel that is used to heck if there is a white point inside it and if there is such a point it changes the other ones inside the kernel to this color. For the desired implementation the square kernel is being use since all of the maps mostly consist of straight lines and the size of this kernel can be adjusted by changing the dilation size variable.

After the dilation the map is transformed back to its initial color scheme and to examples with different kernel sizes of such operation can be seen to the right.

  • Distance from other points

To ensure that points are distributed more evenly around the map the distance between new vertex and all the previously created ones is being checked. This is done by checking the difference between the x and y coordinates is no smaller than 0.3 m. This ensures that each vertex has a square 0.3x0.3 m area around it of 0.3x0.3 m where there are no other vertices.

  • Check for valid edge

To see if the vertex is valid two checks are being done. First to ensure that only the vertices that are relatively close to each other are connected the distance between them is being checked. This is done by computing the absolute value of a difference between the x and y variables of 2 vertices and then taking a square root of a sum of those values squared, which allows to compute the distance between them in straight line.

The other check that is being performed is seeing if there is a wall between the two nodes. To do that a line between two points is being created using Bresenham's algorithm. It creates all the points and is used to check if there is a black point along the path. If the line encounters the black point it is marked as invalid and the edge between the two points is not created.


Example of the map created using probabilistic roadmap

To test the algorithm the example map was being used with number of vertices equal to 70, dilation size equal to 2 which means that (5,5) square kernel was used for dilation and maximum distance between two edges of 1 m was created and can be seen on the Figure.

Exercise 4 - Localization