A Systems Engineering Approach to Electro-Mechanical Reconfiguration for High Mobility Autonomy

R. Craig Coulter
tech. report CMU-RI-TR-94-27, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, August, 1994


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Abstract
The performance of a system is a function of the performance of each of its individual components. This work explores the relationship between system performance and subcomponent performance in the electro-mechanical configuration of a mobile robot, under the premise that the performance of the mobile robot can be greatly improved through the systematic analysis and design of an efficient electro-mechanical configuration. This work further presumes that the concept of mobility adequately encompasses the metrics by which complete mobile robotic systems may be measured; the purpose of building a mobile robot is assumed to be the creation of a maximally mobile autonomous machine. The performance cost of converting an existing machine into an autonomous machine is then measured by its mobility degradation.

This paper develops a methodology that helps the design engineer to reduce one mobility performance cost, and illustrates this method with its application to the NavLab II mobile robot. The conclusion of this work is that the state of the art in mobile robotics is not accurately reflected in the performance capabilities of mobile robots developed primarily to support software research programs. Even a rudimentary first cut at the systematic engineering of performance has yielded a power to weight ratio change on the order of 10%. This study predicts change on the order of 20% through the implementation of robust low-technology solutions. The development of robust field and mobile robots calls for such an engineering approach.


Notes
Sponsor: ARPA
Grant ID: DACA76-89-C-0014, DAAE07-90-C-R059
Number of pages: 43

Text Reference
R. Craig Coulter, "A Systems Engineering Approach to Electro-Mechanical Reconfiguration for High Mobility Autonomy," tech. report CMU-RI-TR-94-27, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, August, 1994

BibTeX Reference
@techreport{Coulter_1994_346,
   author = "R. Craig Coulter",
   title = "A Systems Engineering Approach to Electro-Mechanical Reconfiguration for High Mobility Autonomy",
   booktitle = "",
   institution = "Robotics Institute",
   month = "August",
   year = "1994",
   number= "CMU-RI-TR-94-27",
   address= "Pittsburgh, PA",
}