A Robot Platform for Intelligent Ground Vehicle Research
This thesis presents a mobile platform developed for further research on the Intellegent Ground Vehicle project which began as a capstone project but without achieving full autonomy. The scope of the current project is to develop Robot Operating System (ROS) based driver libraries to the electronic system and provide application program interfaces (APIs) for higher abstraction level libraries. Prior work had provided a mechanical system and several sensors for the robot. The chassis of the vehicle is fabricated with aluminum tubings and enclosed with aluminum boards to protect internal electronics from environmental conditions. A three-wheel differential drive architecture is used for locomotion, with two front wheels powered by two DC motors and a free rotational wheel in the rear. The current working electronic system includes two DPRALTE-060B080 servo drives for driving DC motors and acquiring odometry, an OS5000-S inertial measurement unit (IMU) for reading robot orientation, and a LMS211-S07 LiDAR for range finding. The libraries for servo drives and IMU are specifically written based on the ROS, while a general library for the LiDAR as been provided by the ROS community. Detailed configurations of the servo drives and setup of the serial communication has been documented. Finally, for the benefit of further research, examples of working with ROS, debugging, and version control are presented.