This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Development of an Autonomous Mobile Robot-Trailer System for UXO Detection




Hodo, David

Type of Degree



Electrical and Computer Engineering


The process of finding and removing unexploded ordnance (UXO) from contaminated sites is an expensive and time consuming task. In this thesis, an autonomous mobile robot-trailer system is developed for this purpose. It is proposed that an autonomous robot can perform the task of UXO detected more efficiently and safely than current methods. In this thesis, a method of complete coverage path planning is developed that allows a path for surveying a field to be automatically generated. Simple methods of obstacle avoidance are given that allow isolated, known obstacles in the field to be avoided. A feedback control law is designed to guide a towed trailer to precisely follow a given path. An experimental platform is designed consisting of a Segway RMP robot towing a trailer, guided by a GPS/INS positioning system. Simulation and experimental results are provided to validate the control law. The effects of hitch angle measurement errors and noise in the GPS measurements on path tracking performance are analyzed. The effects are examined for different sensor placements. Guidelines are provided for where the positioning sensors should be placed based on expected sensor errors and controller tunings.