Autonomy & emotions

Control & Software

The control of the robot will be based on a distributed layered approach. Each joint will have its own control board (Arduino nano) that will then connect with a core controller (to be selected). Each module core control board is then accessible via WiFi. At each ends of the modules there are connecting terminals for data and power sharing.

Gait and Motion

A single isolated module is capable of motion thanks to the onmi-wheels installed. However, when at least two modules are connected, the robot gains significant mobility and gaits. The table below list all the possible gaits for a two modules configuration.

Gait Chorepgraphy Inspiration
Drive (LF, LH, RF, RH wheels drive) Car
Pace (LF,LH) U D > (RF, RH) U D >> Dog
Walk LH U D > LF U D > RH U D > RF UD >> Horse
Diagonal Walk RF U D > TRUNK ACKW LH U D > LF U D > TRUNF CKW > RH U D >> Lizard
Trot (LH, RH) U D > (LF, RH) U D >> Horse
Canter

[RH D >] ( LF, RF, LH) U > (LF,RF, LH) D >(LF, RF,RH) U > (LF, RF, RH) D>>

Dog & Horse

In the table: L left, R right, H hind leg, F foreleg, U up, D down, ACKW anti clokwise, CKW clockwise, () together, > next step, >> repeat from start, [ ] only at start.

Furthermore, we plan to add autonomy to the modules and to do so we are designing an emotion engine that will generate motivation and initial drive for the robot to navigate and investigate its environment. We believe the emotion engine will be very useful when the mission specifications given to the robot are not complete or are outdated by events on the scene of operation. Emotions could then fill the gap by providing the robot with decision mechanisms in situations with not enough information or data.

Emotion Engine
Emotion Engine Overview

The model is currently being tested on SIMULINK and expect an update before end of 2015.