Mechatronic design and construction of an intelligent mobile robot for educational purposes : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Technology in Engineering and Automation at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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Massey University
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The main aim of this project was to produce a working intelligent mechatronically designed mobile robot, which could be used for educational purposes. A secondary aim was to make the robot as a test-bed to investigate new systems (sensors, control etc.) if possible. The mechatronic design of the robot was split in to three sections: the chassis, the sensors and the control. The design and construction of the chassis unit was relatively simple and very few problems were encountered. The drive system chosen for the robot was a four-wheeled Mecanum drive. The major advantage of this system is that it allows multiple degrees of freedom while keeping the control and the number of drive motors to a minimum. The design and construction of the sensors was the main research section. The sensor design evolved around the use of ultrasonic sensors. While a phased array type arrangement was tried with the intention of improving the angular accuracy of the sensors, the use of frequency modulation was used in the end and it proved to be excellent except that the problem of angular accuracy was still not solved. The entire mechatronic system was completed except for the micro controller programming. It operated well when it was given the correct inputs and performed all of the functions it was designed for. It is strongly recommended that further work be done on the use of a computer motherboard instead of the current micro controller as this would allow for easier programming, more complex programs and easy implementation of map building.
Mechatronics, Mobile robots, Intelligent control systems