Technical Brief

Dynamics and Control of a Differential Drive Robot With Wheel Slip: Application to Coordination of Multiple Robots

[+] Author and Article Information
Shyamprasad Konduri

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843
e-mail: konduri@tamu.edu

Edison Orlando Cobos Torres

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843
e-mail: orlando.cobos@tamu.edu

Prabhakar R. Pagilla

Fellow ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843
e-mail: ppagilla@tamu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Dynamic Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF DYNAMIC SYSTEMS, MEASUREMENT, AND CONTROL. Manuscript received December 8, 2015; final manuscript received August 22, 2016; published online November 11, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Davide Spinello.

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 139(1), 014505 (Nov 11, 2016) (6 pages) Paper No: DS-15-1628; doi: 10.1115/1.4034779 History: Received December 08, 2015; Revised August 22, 2016

In differential drive robots, wheel slip severely affects the ability to track a desired motion trajectory and the problem is exacerbated when differential drive robots are used in applications involving coordination of multiple robots. This problem is investigated and, based on the wheel–ground traction forces, a simple slip avoidance control strategy is discussed. Differential drive robots with two driven wheels and one or more ball-type caster wheels are considered. The traction forces between the wheels and the ground surface are determined by assuming rigid wheel, rigid ground interaction. These traction forces are used to determine the maximum value of the input wheel torque that can be applied on the wheel before it slips. To avoid wheel slip, this limiting torque value is used to set a saturation limit for the input torque computed by a trajectory tracking controller. Stability of the closed-loop system with the slip avoidance strategy is shown. Experiments are conducted with this strategy using a single robot as well as multiple robots in a platoon. A representative sample of the experimental results is presented and discussed.

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Fig. 1

Two wheeled differential drive robot

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Fig. 2

Two-loop trajectory tracking controller

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Fig. 3

Experimental values of coefficient of friction: (a) μs and (b) μk

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Fig. 4

Picture of mobile robots in platoon

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Fig. 5

Evolution of the position of the robot: (a) single robot from encoder and video without and with limits on torque input, platoon of robots without and with limit on torque input, (b) x-position, and (c) y-position

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Fig. 6

Velocity profile used in experiments




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