Perceptual Support for Ballistic Motion in Docking for a Mobile Robot
MacKenzie, Douglas Christopher
Arkin, Ronald C.
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This paper describes ongoing research into methods to allow a mobile robot to effectively function in a manufacturing environment; specifically, generation of the ballistic motion phase of the docking behavior. This overall docking behavior causes the robot to move to a workstation and park in an appropriate position. The docking behavior consists of two distinct types of motion. Ballistic motion rapidly moves the robot to an area near the dock where recognition of the dock triggers the slower, more accurate orienting motion for the final positioning. The ballistic motion is supported with two simple low-level behaviors: a phototropic (light seeking) behavior and a temporal (motion) detection behavior. The phototropic or temporal activity perceptual strategy maneuvers the vehicle toward the bright light or the abundant motion usually associated with workstations. These vision algorithms have been selected because strict knowledge of the initial position of the dock is not needed and each requires limited computational resources. This system has been implemented and shown to successfully generate ballistic motion in support of docking in typical manufacturing environments.