Dominika Krajčovičová |
July 30, 2020 |
Thanks to our algorithm, the Husky A200 robot from the Canadian company Clearpath can cross the specified route autonomously in different environments. It mainly uses an RTV sensor developed by RoboTech Vision. The robot can thus move independently on paths between trees, buildings in open space, recognize objects and avoid static and dynamic obstacles.
RoboTech Vision tries to develop universal algorithms that could be easily applied to a variety of devices. The company, therefore, tests them on several platforms, e.g. on their own Androver II robot with a double ackerman chassis or on the Husky A200 robot with a differential chassis. Each type of the robots uses a different type of autonomous navigation depending on its hardware capability.
After nearly two years of developing autonomous navigation algorithms, RoboTech Vision has managed to adapt the Husky A200 to move autonomously in a variety of environments. Although sensors such as IMU, GPS and a wheel odometer also help the robot to move autonomously, the robot is mainly navigated by using an RTV sensor developed by RoboTech Vision.
How does it work?
“The development of the RTV sensor arose from our own need to own a universal device that simply moves from robot to robot and fulfills the same purpose – it is given its own eyes and reasons” says the CEO of RoboTech Vision Peter Pásztó, PhD., M.Sc. The sensor combines a 360 ° camera that is used to segment the path, a forward camera for object detection, and a 3D scanner that creates an idea of the size and distance of obstacles.
“The development of the RTV sensor arose from our own need to own a universal device that simply moves from robot to robot and fulfills the same purpose – it is given its own eyes and reasons”
The space in which the robot should move autonomously must first run through the teleoperator with a joystick. The RTV sensor saves the data and then creates a map from which the robot is navigated. Then all you have to do is enter a waypoint for the robot. The planner calculates the shortest route and creates a trajectory. The robot thus reaches the destination autonomously even through difficult intersections.
Thanks to the Speech text algorithm from RoboTech Vision, the robot can also be controlled via voice commands, for example by a smartphone. If the robot does not understand the command, you will be asked to repeat the command. The robot is also safe for humans, because even though a route is planned, it constantly monitors the surroundings with an RTV sensor, detects static and dynamic obstacles and plans the route again so that it does not collide.
Safety comes first
The robot tries to stay on the right side of the road all the time. Thanks to this, it can also be used in streets. During the tests, he easily copes with an arriving car, bike or runner, which he identified by using the RTV sensor. The robot is also able to move around in an open, monotonous space without significant environmental features that would make it easier to locate it.
“Some facilities are described as autonomous, although they cannot make decisions at intersections or avoid obstacles.”
The autonomous navigation of the robot also includes the so-called recovery mode, which was developed on the Androver II platform and was adopted by the Husky A200. This is a reactive navigation without using a map of the area. The mode is switched on if the robot is unable to position itself correctly on the map and is therefore navigated using a visual system until it is correctly positioned again.
The autonomous navigation system deployed on the Husky A200 is known as environment map navigation. According to the 451 Research Group, the robot with our algorithms meets the 5th degree of autonomy. “This is very often the difference. Some facilities are described as autonomous, although they cannot make decisions at intersections or avoid obstacles,” adds another CEO of the company, Martin Smoľák, M.Sc.
After graduating as a journalist, with media experience, she decided to continue writing for the robotic company. At RoboTech Vision, she also uses her marketing skills such as managing social networks, websites and creating graphics and videos.
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