Title page for ETD etd-03242003-120642

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Moret, Eric N
Author's Email Address emoret@vt.edu
URN etd-03242003-120642
Title Dynamic Modeling and Control of a Car-Like Robot
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kachroo, Pushkin Committee Co-Chair
Leo, Donald J. Committee Co-Chair
Abbott, A. Lynn Committee Member
Saunders, William R. Committee Member
  • dynamic control
  • autonomous vehicle
  • nonholonomic
  • intelligent transportation systems
  • nonlinear
Date of Defense 2003-02-28
Availability unrestricted

The Flexible Low-cost Automated Scaled Highway (FLASH) laboratory at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) is one of many facilities dedicated to the field of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). The goal of the FLASH lab is to provide small-scale development and implementation of autonomous control strategies for today's vehicles.

The current controller used on the scale vehicles is based solely on the kinematics of the system. This body of work was aimed to develop a dynamic control law to enhance the performance of the existing kinematic controller. This control system is intended to automatically maintain the vehicle's alignment on the road as well as keep the speed of the vehicle constant. Implementation of such systems could conceivably reduce driver fatigue by removing nearly all the burden of the driving process from the driver while on the highway.

System dynamics of car-like robots with nonholonomic constraints were employed in this research to create a controller for an autonomous path following vehicle. The application of working kinematic and dynamic models describing car-like robotic systems allowed the development of a nonlinear controller.

Simulations of the vehicle and controller were done using MATLAB. Comparisons of the kinematic controller and the dynamic controller presented here were also done. In order to make the simulations model the actual system more closely, measures were taken to approximate actual sensor readings.

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