Robotic Communication and Sensing Using Structural Vibration in Natural Waveguides.
Structure-borne vibration is a common mechanism exploited by animals, both for
communication and for sensing the surrounding environment. However, little work has been
done to apply this rich body of knowledge in the robotics space. In this thesis,
structural vibration is proposed as a method of inter-robot communication and
environmental sensing. One-dimensional branching structures ... read moresuch as cables, trusses,
pipes, and tracks, as well as natural structures such as trees, are target environments
for robots in this investigation. These waveguide-like structures are advantageous for
vibration transmission, mitigating energy loss due to geometric spreading to potentially
enable long range communication, and supporting various modes of vibration, including
bending, torsional, and longitudinal vibrations. These environments are prominent in
human construction and in nature, where robots could be tasked with inspection, material
transportation, or surveillance. In this work, a structural vibration-transducing mobile
robotic platform was developed for operation on a sample waveguide structure. Careful
analytical modeling of the structural dynamics and electromechanical interaction between
the robot platform and waveguide structure was conducted. Techniques for transmission of
commands and distance measurement between robot agents were designed. Finally,
experimental verification of the model and proof-of-concept communication and sensing
techniques are presented.
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2015.
Submitted to the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Advisor: Robert White.
Committee: Jason Rife, and Barry Trimmer.
Keywords: Mechanical engineering, and Robotics.read less
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