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Title: A graph-theory-based C-space path planner for mobile robotic manipulators in close-proximity environments
Author: Wall, D. G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 4472
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2016
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In this thesis a novel guidance method for a 3-degree-of-freedom robotic manipulator arm in 3 dimensions for Improvised Explosive Device (IED) disposal has been developed. The work carried out in this thesis combines existing methods to develop a technique that delivers advantages taken from several other guidance techniques. These features are necessary for the IED disposal application. The work carried out in this thesis includes kinematic and dynamic modelling of robotic manipulators, T-space to C-space conversion, and path generation using Graph Theory to produce a guidance technique which can plan a safe path through a complex unknown environment. The method improves upon advantages given by other techniques in that it produces a suitable path in 3-dimensions in close-proximity environments in real time with no a priori knowledge of the environment, a necessary precursor to the application of this technique to IED disposal missions. To solve the problem of path planning, the thesis derives the kinematics and dynamics of a robotic arm in order to convert the Euclidean coordinates of measured environment data into C-space. Each dimension in C-space is one control input of the arm. The Euclidean start and end locations of the manipulator end effector are translated into C-space. A three-dimensional path is generated between them using Dijkstra’s Algorithm. The technique allows for a single path to be generated to guide the entire arm through the environment, rather than multiple paths to guide each component through the environment. The robotic arm parameters are modelled as a quasi-linear parameter varying system. As such it requires gain scheduling control, thus allowing compensation of the non-linearities in the system. A Genetic Algorithm is applied to tune a set of PID controllers for the dynamic model of the manipulator arm so that the generated path can then be followed using a conventional path-following algorithm. The technique proposed in this thesis is validated using numerical simulations in order to determine its advantages and limitations.
Supervisor: Economou, J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Robotics ; Improvised explosive device disposal