Small Mobile Robots

Small mobile robots in the dimension of around 15 cm have shown to be useful in many cases: to simulate biologically inspired behaviour, to be used for educational purposes and for the use in mobile sensor networks. Inexpensive small robots that have the ability to autonomously change their position will be able to play an important role in the future.

 

A swarm of c't-Bots

 

At our institute, we work with a swarm of 13 robots developed by the German computer magazine c't. These robots have a diameter of 12 cm and are 14 cm high. Their sensor system consists of two Sharp IR distance sensors, one SRF08 sonar sensor, an optical mouse sensor for movement estimation and several infrared reflex light barriers for the detection of cliffs or ground lines. Additionally, our robots have been equipped with a POB-EYE color camera of 88 x 120 pixels resolution including an image processing module and a WLAN adapter for communication. The robots use an ATmega644-microprocessor at 24 MHz.

 

Central research questions are:

  • Formation control: The task is to control a group of mobile robots to follow a predefined path or trajectory, while maintaining a desired formation pattern.
  • Vision-based self-localization: Development of efficient techniques that allow establishing self-localization particularily for small mobile robots.

 

Videos concerning this topic:
See our current robotic videos in our Youtube channel.

 

Publications using c't-Bots at our institute:

[1] Marius Hofmeister. Self-Localization, Mapping and Coverage with Resource-Limited Mobile Robots. PhD thesis, University of Tuebingen, Tübingen, Germany, July 2011.
[2] Marius Hofmeister, Marcel Kronfeld, and Andreas Zell. Cooperative visual mapping in a heterogeneous team of mobile robots. In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pages 1491--1496, Shanghai, China, May 2011. [ pdf ]
[3] Marius Hofmeister and Marcel Kronfeld. Multi-robot coverage considering line-of-sight conditions. In 7th IFAC Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles (IAV), Lecce, Italy, September 2010. [ pdf ]
[4] Kiattisin Kanjanawanishkul, Marius Hofmeister, and Andreas Zell. Path following with an optimal forward velocity for a mobile robot. In 7th IFAC Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles (IAV), Lecce, Italy, September 2010. [ pdf ]
[5] Kiattisin Kanjanawanishkul and Andreas Zell. Distributed role assignment in multi-robot formation. In 7th IFAC Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles (IAV), Lecce, Italy, September 2010.
[6] Kiattisin Kanjanawanishkul, Marius Hofmeister, and Marius Zell. Experiments on formation switching for mobile robots. In IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM 2010), pages 323--328, Montréal, Canada, July 2010. [ pdf ]
[7] Marius Hofmeister, Philipp Vorst, and Andreas Zell. A comparison of efficient global image features for localizing small mobile robots. In ISR/ROBOTIK 2010 (Proceedings of the joint conference of ISR 2010 (41st International Symposium on Robotics) and ROBOTIK 2010 (6th German Conference on Robotics)), pages 143--150. VDE Verlag, June 2010. [ details | pdf ]
[8] Marius Hofmeister, Sara Erhard, and Andreas Zell. Visual self-localization with tiny images. In Rüdiger Dillmann, Jürgen Beyerer, and Christoph Stiller, editors, Autonome Mobile Systeme 2009 - 21. Fachgespräch, pages 177--184, Karlsruhe, Germany, December 2009. Springer-Verlag. [ pdf ]
[9] Kiattisin Kanjanawanishkul, Marius Hofmeister, and Andreas Zell. Coordinated path following for mobile robots. In Rüdiger Dillmann, Jürgen Beyerer, and Christoph Stiller, editors, Autonome Mobile Systeme 2009 - 21. Fachgespräch, pages 185--192, Karlsruhe, Germany, December 2009. Springer-Verlag. [ pdf ]
[10] Kiattisin Kanjanawanishkul, Marius Hofmeister, and Andreas Zell. Smooth reference tracking of a mobile robot using nonlinear model predictive control. In 4th European Conference on Mobile Robots (ECMR), pages 161--166, Mlini/Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 2009. KoREMA, Zagreb. [ pdf ]
[11] Marius Hofmeister, Maria Liebsch, and Andreas Zell. Visual self-localization for small mobile robots with weighted gradient orientation histograms. In 40th International Symposium on Robotics (ISR), pages 87--91, Barcelona, Spain, 2009. [ pdf ]

 


Contact

Kiattisin Kanjanawanishkul, Tel.: (07071) 29-70441, kiattisin.kanjanawanishkul at uni-tuebingen.de

Marius Hofmeister, Tel.: (07071) 29-78988 marius.hofmeister at uni-tuebingen.de