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Saturday, 1 June 2013

FOUR-LEGGED WALKING ROBOT FOR EXPLORATION WITH WIRELESS DATA TRANSMISSION


This project develops a four-legged walking robot used to explore a remote location by sensing the environmental parameters like humidity, atmospheric pressure, light intensity, and ambient temperature processes it and transmits the collected data to the control station using wireless means. The robot can also detect the object/obstacles in its path by verifying the output from the IR (Infra Red Sensors). Since the robot is of six legs it possess grip on all types of surfaces whether hilly area or smooth surface. So this project is helpful for the military/ space expedition etc to verify the atmospheric situations in a particular area without any human intervention. This project consists of a microcontroller section and mechanical section. The microcontroller section stores a program that controls the movements of the robot, atmospheric parameter sensing and object/obstacle detection. The mechanical section consists of servo motors for the movements of robot.

A robot is a mechanical device, a manipulator designed to perform many different tasks and capable of repeated, variable programming. To perform its assigned tasks, the robot moves parts, objects, tools, and special devices by means of programmed motions and points. The science and technology that deals with study of robots, their design, manufacture, and application is known as Robotics. Although the appearance and capabilities of robots vary vastly, all robots share the features of a mechanical, movable structure under some form of autonomous control. The control of a robot involves three distinct phases - perception, processing and action.

The robot holds a mechanical structure that consisting servo motors for the movements of robot, and an electronic circuitry which acts as the CPU/ head (Intelligence) of the robot. A microcontroller acts as a Central Processing Unit, which stores an algorithm that controls the movements of the robot, ambient parameter sensing and object/obstacle detection. The monitoring sections are occupied with a wireless CAM and specialized sensors. Wireless CAM, which continuously monitors /captures the videos of the surroundings that covered by four-Legged Robot. The robot is fixed with various sensors that monitor atmospheric temperature, light intensity, relative humidity and pressure. The object is detected using IR Sensor module which comprise of an IR transmitter and receiver section. If the distance to the object from robot is found less than the predefined value, the Sensor produces control signals to the CPU that changes the motion algorithm that matches to the situation and changes the path of the robot. The raw analog outputs from sensors after filtering and signal processing are directed to the ADC (Analog to Digital Converter) module. The digital output of the ADC further processing is given to the USART (Universal Synchronous Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter) module for communication purpose. The results are automatically archived on each time interval. After the purpose full level conversion process these parameters are sent to the remote monitoring station at definite intervals using Zigbee based Wireless Communication Network. So the man in concern can view the area that covered by the robot along with the real time parameters of that particular place. Since the communication used is of both to and fro, the man can also control its motion to follow a particular direction/ object from the remote location.
ZigBee is a wireless technology developed as an open global standard to address the unique needs of low-cost, low-power, wireless sensor networks. The standard takes full advantage of the IEEE 802.15.4 physical radio specification and operates in unlicensed bands worldwide at the following frequencies: 2.400–2.484 GHz, 902-928 MHz and 868.0–868.6 MHz. The 802.15.4 specification was developed at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The specification is a packet-based radio protocol that meets the needs of low-cost, battery-operated devices. The protocol allows devices to intercommunicate and be powered by batteries that last years instead of hours.
The ZigBee protocol was engineered by the ZigBee Alliance, a non-profit consortium of leading semiconductor manufacturers, technology providers, OEMs and end-users worldwide. The protocol was designed to provide OEMs and integrators with an easy-to-use wireless data solution characterized by low-power consumption, support for multiple network structures and secure connections.
If the system is enhanced with a digital camera, the image of the surroundings can be stored/ sent by the robot. Thus this project can be used in space exploration where the robot functions without human interference. The environmental parameters can be sensed by the control station using the wireless receiver module.  Hence this robot resembles rovers (robotic exploration vehicles), the robot that made a series of missions to Mars.
The control station PC interfaced with a wireless communication module, which interprets the incoming data from the microcontroller transmitted via ZIGBEE, and displays the needed data in corresponding pages. For this purpose here we develop application software using Visual Basic- a user friendly design language, to achieve PC and embedded system interfacing. We can also go for HTML/ VB.NET/ASP.NET as per the requirement.

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