Autonomous Control System for a Vehicle with Actively Transformable Frame

Robotics and Mechatronics

In this paper we suggest a structure of autonomous control system for a sixwheeled vehicle with an actively transformable frame. A control system of the suggested structure allows the vehicle to move effectively on uneven terrain. Furthermore, we describe algorithms for control of vehicle configuration while it overcomes a random sequence of obstacles belonging to three classes: step, canal and descent from step. These algorithms utilize information about the instant configuration of the vehicle provided by proprioceptive sensors and the predicted height of the obstacle and range from it provided by exterioceptive sensors. Therefore, the algorithms switch vehicle movement modes depend on the instant situation in which it is involved. Stages of vehicle frame transformation are described for each mode. Hereafter the patterns of each feasible switching between modes and the dependency between the desired frame configuration and obstacle height are discussed. The suggested structure and algorithms are then realized and tested in a complex virtual model of control system and vehicle dynamics. Results of virtual modelling ensured the efficiency of the suggested structural and algorithmical decisions.