Mobile robot

Mobile robot

A mobile robot is an automatic machine that is capable of movement in a given environment.

A spying robot is an example of a mobile robot capable of movement in a given environment. Courtesy: Gaurav Mittal, PEC[1]



Mobile robots have the capability to move around in their environment and are not fixed to one physical location. In contrast, industrial robots usually consist of a jointed arm (multi-linked manipulator) and gripper assembly (or end effector) that is attached to a fixed surface.

Mobile robots are the focus of a great deal of current research and almost every major university has one or more labs that focus on mobile robot research. Mobile robots are also found in industry, military and security environments. They also appear as consumer products, for entertainment or to perform certain tasks like vacuum, gardening and some other common household tasks.


Mobile robots may be classified by:

  • The environment in which they travel:
    • Land or home robots. They are most commonly wheeled, but also include legged robots with two or more legs (humanoid, or resembling animals or insects).
    • Aerial robots are usually referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
    • Underwater robots are usually called autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs)
    • Polar robots, designed to navigate icy, crevasse filled environments
  • The device they use to move, mainly:

Mobile robot navigation

There are many types of mobile robot navigation:

Manual remote or tele-op

A manually tele-op'd robot is totally under control of a driver with a joystick or other control device. The device may be plugged directly into the robot, may be a wireless joystick, or may be an accessory to a wireless computer or other controller. A tele-op'd robot is typically used to keep the operator out of harm's way. Examples of manual remote robots include Robotics Design's ANATROLLER ARI-100 and ARI-50, Foster-Miller's Talon, iRobot's PackBot, and KumoTek's MK-705 Roosterbot.

Guarded tele-op

A guarded tele-op robot has the ability to sense and avoid obstacles but will otherwise navigate as driven, like a robot under manual tele-op. Few if any mobile robots offer only guarded tele-op. (See Sliding Autonomy below.)

Line-following robot

Some of the earliest Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) were line following mobile robots. They might follow a visual line painted or embedded in the floor or ceiling or an electrical wire in the floor. Most of these robots operated a simple "keep the line in the center sensor" algorithm. They could not circumnavigate obstacles; they just stopped and waited when something blocked their path. Many examples of such vehicles are still sold, by Transbotics, FMC, Egemin, HK Systems and many other companies.

Autonomously randomized robot

Autonomous robots with random motion basically bounce off walls, whether those walls are sensed

Autonomously guided robot

Robot developers use ready-made autonomous bases and software to design robot applications quickly. Shells shaped like people or cartoon characters may cover the base to disguise it.[3] Courtesy of MobileRobots Inc

An autonomously guided robot knows at least some information about where it is and how to reach various goals and or waypoints along the way. "Localization" or knowledge of its current location, is calculated by one or more means, using sensors such motor encoders, vision, Stereopsis, lasers and global positioning systems. Positioning systems often use triangulation, relative position and/or Monte-Carlo/Markov localization to determine the location and orientation of the platform, from which it can plan a path to its next waypoint or goal. It can gather sensor readings that are time- and location-stamped, so that a hospital, for instance, can know exactly when and where radiation levels exceeded permissible levels. Such robots are often part of the wireless enterprise network, interfaced with other sensing and control systems in the building. For instance, the PatrolBot security robot responds to alarms, operates elevators and notifies the command center when an incident arises. Other autonomously guided robots include the SpeciMinder and the Tug delivery robots for hospital labs, though the latter actually has people at the ready to drive the robot remotely when its autonomy fails. The Tug sends a letter to its tech support person, who then takes the helm and steers it over the Internet by looking through a camera low in the base of the robot.

Sliding autonomy

More capable robots combine multiple levels of navigation under a system called sliding autonomy. Most autonomously guided robots, such as the HelpMate hospital robot, also offer a manual mode. The Motivity autonomous robot operating system, which is used in the ADAM, PatrolBot, SpeciMinder, MapperBot and a number of other robots, offers full sliding autonomy, from manual to guarded to autonomous modes.

Also see Autonomous robot


Date Developments
1939–1945 During World War II the first mobile robots emerged as a result of technical advances on a number of relatively new research fields like computer science and cybernetics. They were mostly flying bombs. Examples are smart bombs that only detonate within a certain range of the target, the use of guiding systems and radar control. The V1 and V2 rockets had a crude 'autopilot' and automatic detonation systems. They were the predecessors of modern cruise missiles.
1948–1949 W. Grey Walter builds Elmer and Elsie, two autonomous robots called Machina Speculatrix because these robots liked to explore their environment. Elmer and Elsie were each equipped with a light sensor. If they found a light source they would move towards it, avoiding or moving obstacles on their way. These robots demonstrated that complex behaviour could arise from a simple design. Elmer and Elsie only had the equivalent of two nerve cells. [1]
1961–1963 The Johns Hopkins University develops 'Beast'. Beast used a sonar to move around. When its batteries ran low it would find a power socket and plug itself in.
1969 Mowbot was the very first robot that would automatically mow the lawn. [2]
1970 The Stanford Cart line follower was a mobile robot that was able to follow a white line, using a camera to see. It was radio linked to a large mainframe that made the calculations.[4]
At about the same time (1966–1972) the Stanford Research Institute is building and doing research on Shakey the Robot, a robot named after its jerky motion. Shakey had a camera, a rangefinder, bump sensors and a radio link. Shakey was the first robot that could reason about its actions. This means that Shakey could be given very general commands, and that the robot would figure out the necessary steps to accomplish the given task.
The Soviet Union explores the surface of the Moon with Lunokhod 1, a lunar rover.
1976 In its Viking program the NASA sends two unmanned spacecrafts to Mars.
1980 The interest of the public in robots rises, resulting in robots that could be purchased for home use. These robots served entertainment or educational purposes. Examples include the RB5X, which still exists today and the HERO series.
The Stanford Cart is now able to navigate its way through obstacle courses and make maps of its environment.
Early 1980s The team of Ernst Dickmanns at Bundeswehr University Munich builds the first robot cars, driving up to 55 mph on empty streets.
1987 Hughes Research Laboratories demonstrates the first cross-country map and sensor-based autonomous operation of a robotic vehicle.[5]
1989 Mark Tilden invents BEAM robotics.
1990s Joseph Engelberger, father of the industrial robotic arm, works with colleagues to design the first commercially available autonomous mobile hospital robots, sold by Helpmate. The US Department of Defense funds the MDARS-I project, based on the Cybermotion indoor security robot.
1991 Edo. Franzi, André Guignard and Francesco Mondada developed Khepera, an autonomous small mobile robot intended for research activities. The project was supported by the LAMI-EPFL lab.
1993–1994 Dante I [3] and Dante II [4] were developed by Carnegie Mellon University. Both were walking robots used to explore live volcanoes.
1994 With guests onboard, the twin robot vehicles VaMP and VITA-2 of Daimler-Benz and Ernst Dickmanns of UniBwM drive more than one thousand kilometers on a Paris three-lane highway in standard heavy traffic at speeds up to 130 km/h. They demonstrate autonomous driving in free lanes, convoy driving, and lane changes left and right with autonomous passing of other cars.
1995 Semi-autonomous ALVINN steered a car coast-to-coast under computer control for all but about 50 of the 2850 miles. Throttle and brakes, however, were controlled by a human driver.
1995 In the same year, one of Ernst Dickmanns' robot cars (with robot-controlled throttle and brakes) drove more than 1000 miles from Munich to Copenhagen and back, in traffic, at up to 120 mph, occasionally executing maneuvers to pass other cars (only in a few critical situations a safety driver took over). Active vision was used to deal with rapidly changing street scenes.
1995 The Pioneer programmable mobile robot becomes commercially available at an affordable price, enabling a widespread increase in robotics research and university study over the next decade as mobile robotics becomes a standard part of the university curriculum.
1996–1997 NASA sends the Mars Pathfinder with its rover Sojourner to Mars. The rover explores the surface, commanded from earth. Sojourner was equipped with a hazard avoidance system. This enabled Sojourner to autonomously find it s way through unknown martian terrain.
1999 Sony introduces Aibo, a robotic dog capable of seeing, walking and interacting with its environment. The PackBot remote-controlled military mobile robot is introduced.
2001 Start of the Swarm-bots project. Swarm bots resemble insect colonies. Typically they consist of a large number of individual simple robots, that can interact with each other and together perform complex tasks. [5]
2002 Appears Roomba, a domestic autonomous mobile robot that cleans the floor.
2003 Axxon Robotics purchases Intellibot, manufacturer of a line of commercial robots that scrub, vacuum, and sweep floors in hospitals, office buildings and other commercial buildings. Floor care robots from Intellibot Robotics LLC operate completely autonomously, mapping their environment and using an array of sensors for navigation an obstacle avoidance.
2004 Robosapien, a biomorphic toy robot designed by Mark Tilden is commercially available.
In 'The Centibots Project' 100 autonomous robots work together to make a map of an unknown environment and search for objects within the environment. [6]
In the first DARPA Grand Challenge competition, fully autonomous vehicles compete against each other on a desert course.
2005 Boston Dynamics creates a quadruped robot intended to carry heavy loads across terrain too rough for vehicles.
2006 Sony stops making Aibo and HelpMate halts production, but a lower-cost PatrolBot customizable autonomous service robot system becomes available as mobile robots continue the struggle to become commercially viable. The US Department of Defense drops the MDARS-I project, but funds MDARS-E, an autonomous field robot. TALON-Sword, the first commercially available robot with grenade launcher and other integrated weapons options, is released. [7]. Honda's Asimo learns to run and climb stairs.
2007 History is made with the DARPA Urban Grand Challenge, with six vehicles autonomously completing a complex course involving manned vehicles and obstacles.[6] Kiva Systems clever robots proliferate in distribution operations; these smart shelving units sort themselves according to the popularity of their contents. The Tug becomes a popular means for hospitals to move large cabinets of stock from place to place, while the Speci-Minder [8] with Motivity begins carrying blood and other patient samples from nurses' stations to various labs. Seekur, the first widely available, non-military outdoor service robot, pulls a 3-ton vehicle across a parking lot [9], drives autonomously indoors and begins learning how to navigate itself outside. Meanwhile, PatrolBot learns to follow people and detect doors that are ajar.
2008 Boston Dynamics released video footage of a new generation BigDog able to walk on icy terrain and recover its balance when kicked from the side.

See also


  1. ^ Optically Automated Spy Robot, 'OASR', Gaurav Mittal and Deepansh Sehgal, Punjab Engineering College
  2. ^ Rail track and Linear track (PDF)
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Proceedings of IEEE Robotics and Automation, 1988
  6. ^ Welcome

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mobile Robot Programming Toolkit — (MRPT) Obstacle avoidance on a robotic wheelchair. Developer(s) The MAPIR group …   Wikipedia

  • Mobile robot navigation — For any mobile device, the ability to navigate in its environment is one of the most important capabilities of all. Staying operational, i.e. avoiding dangerous situations such as collisions and staying within safe operating conditions… …   Wikipedia

  • Khepera mobile robot — The Khepera is a small (5.5 cm) differential wheeled mobile robot that was developed at the LAMI laboratory of Prof. Jean Daniel Nicoud at EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland) in the mid 90s. It was developed by Edo. Franzi, Francesco Mondada, André… …   Wikipedia

  • S-bot mobile robot — The s bot is a small (15 cm) differential wheeled (with additional tracks) mobile robot developed at the LIS (Laboratory of Intelligent Systems [] ) at the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland between 2001 and 2004. Targeted to swarm… …   Wikipedia

  • E-puck mobile robot — The e puck is a small (7 cm) differential wheeled mobile robot. It was originally designed for micro engineering education by Michael Bonani and Francesco Mondada at the ASL laboratory of Prof. Roland Siegwart at EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland). The …   Wikipedia

  • Alice mobile robot — The Alice is a very small sugarcube mobile robot (2x2x2cm) developed at the ASL at the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland between 1998 and 2004. It was designed with the following goals: * Design an intelligent mobile robot as cheap and small as… …   Wikipedia

  • self-mobile robot — savaeigis robotas statusas T sritis automatika atitikmenys: angl. self mobile robot vok. Selbstfahrroboter, m rus. самоходный робот, m pranc. robot automoteur, m …   Automatikos terminų žodynas

  • Mobile Robotics Laboratory at IISc — Mobile Robotics Laboratory Established 2002 Type Public Location Bangalore, India Campus Indian Institute of Science …   Wikipedia

  • Robot software — is the coded commands that tell a mechanical device (known as a robot) what tasks to perform and control its actions. Robot software is used to perform tasks and automate tasks to be performed. Programming robots is a non trivial task. Many… …   Wikipedia

  • Robot kinematics — is the study of the motion (kinematics) of robots. In a kinematic analysis the position, velocity and acceleration of all the links are calculated without considering the forces that cause this motion. The relationship between motion, and the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”