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Development of efficient obstacle avoidance and line following mobile robot with the integration of fuzzy logic system in static and dynamic environments

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Autonomous mobile robots have been widely used in many researches and applications. Mobile robots can be programmed to do specific tasks such as collision avoidance and trajectory planning. Various types of sensors and actuators are mounted on these robots for sensing the surrounding environment and making decisions accordingly. In this paper, we develop collision avoidance and line following techniques for mobile robot navigation in static and dynamic environments with the integration of fuzzy logic fusion. For the collision avoidance technique, eight proximity sensors are used to detect static and dynamic obstacles. The proposed fuzzy logic for the line following mechanism consists of one input and two outputs. The input is the difference between right and left ground sensors values whereas the outputs are the left and right speeds to steer the mobile robot. Several membership functions and fuzzy rules are designed. The proposed method has been successfully tested in Webots Pro simulator and in real time experiment.
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Development of Efficient Obstacle Avoidance and
Line Following Mobile Robot with the Integration of
Fuzzy Logic System in Static and Dynamic
Environments
Marwah M. Almasri, Khaled M. Elleithy, Abrar M. Alajlan
Computer Science and Engineering Department
University of Bridgeport
Bridgeport, CT
maalmasr@my.bridgeport.edu, elleithy@bridgeport.edu, aalajlan@my.bridgeport.edu
Abstract
Autonomous mobile robots have been widely used in
many researches and applications. Mobile robots can be
programmed to do specific tasks such as collision avoidance and
trajectory planning. Various types of sensors and actuators are
mounted on these robots for sensing the surrounding
environment and making decisions accordingly. In this paper, we
develop collision avoidance and line following techniques for
mobile robot navigation in static and dynamic environments with
the integration of fuzzy logic fusion. For the collision avoidance
technique, eight proximity sensors are used to detect static and
dynamic obstacles. The proposed fuzzy logic for the line
following mechanism consists of one input and two outputs. The
input is the difference between right and left ground sensors
values whereas the outputs are the left and right speeds to steer
the mobile robot. Several membership functions and fuzzy rules
are designed. The proposed method has been successfully tested
in Webots Pro simulator and in real time experiment.
Keywords- Fuzzy Logic controller, collision avoidance, line
following, mobile robots, data fusion, dynamic obstacles.
I. I
NTRODUCTION
Autonomous mobile robots have been widely used in many
researches and applications. Mobile robots can be
programmed to do specific tasks such as collision avoidance
and trajectory planning. Various types of sensors and actuators
are mounted on these robots for sensing the surrounding
environment and making decisions accordingly. However,
these sensors are in different types and thus have different
accuracies and features. Some of them might be robust against
external environmental factors such as high temperature and
pressure while others might be affected which result in
reducing the efficiency and reliability of these sensors.
Consequently, multiple homogeneous or heterogeneous
sensors are needed in designing an efficient autonomous
mobile robotic system. Data fusion is the process of
combining and aggregating different types of sources and
sensors to get an improved result that is more significant and
more reliable [1]. Data fusion can be complementary,
redundant, or cooperative. Complementary data fusion means
fusing different sources to get a more complete output.
Redundant data fusion is fusing the same type of inputs to
increase the confidence and accuracy of the fused data.
Finally, cooperative data fusion is fusing multiple data to gain
a new output that is more complex compared with the original
data [1].
In addition, collision avoidance and path planning are the
most essential tasks needed when designing a mobile robot
navigational system. Therefore, integrating the data fusion
will increase the reliability and accuracy of the system.
Collision avoidance concerns with preventing the mobile
robot from colliding with any obstacles or objects encounter
on its way while line following mostly concerns with
following the robot a black line or a predefined path. Both
techniques are widely used in many mobile robot applications.
Obstacles in any environment can be static with fixed position
or dynamic with unfixed position. Dealing with dynamic
obstacles is a more complex task.
Therefore, in this paper we design collision avoidance and
line following mechanisms for a mobile robot in static and
dynamic environments with the integration of data fusion to
improve the efficiency and the robustness of the navigation
system. Fuzzy logic controller for line following is developed
and designed with an input and two outputs, multiple
membership functions, and a number of fuzzy rules.
The paper is organized as follows. Section II presents the
related work. Section III discusses the proposed method in
details. It also explains the collision avoidance mechanism and
the fuzzy logic controller design for the line following
mechanism. Section VI demonstrates the simulation and real
time experimental setup for the mobile robot navigation using
the proposed technique. Performance evaluation results and
discussion are presented in section V. Finally, section VI
concludes the paper based on findings.
II. R
ELATED
W
ORK
Various path planning and collision avoidance algorithms
and techniques have been developed in the literature. A
number of these techniques have been implemented with the
integration of the data fusion system.
In [2], authors developed a path planner mechanism which
is composed of Cellular Automata (CA) and Ant Colony
Optimization (ACO) methods for multiple mobile robots. The
proposed method is applicable in a dynamic environment and
in real time applications. It also reduces the complexity and
thus improves performance. A fuzzy-logic-assisted interacting
multiple model (FLAIMM) technique is introduced in [3].
Authors designed two extended Kalman filters (EKF) to solve
the problem of the dynamics of mobile robots whereas an
adaptive neurofuzzy inference system (ANFIS) was used for
predicting the slip. The proposed approach has been tested
using a robot navigating in indoor environment which proves
that the proposed work enhances the location accuracy. In [4],
authors used the Adaptive Neuro Fuzzy Inference System
(ANFIS) Controller for mobile robot navigation in a cluttered
environment with different conditions and various types of
objects. The proposed ANFIS has successfully tested in
simulation and in real experiment. The mobile robot has
avoided obstacles and reached to the desired goal in less time.
In addition, in [5], authors implemented a stereo vision
system using SLAM along with Neurofuzzy decision
framework for mobile robot navigation system. The proposed
method has successfully created navigation maps and tested
on a realistic robotic platform. In [6], a Modified Fuzzy
Associative Memory is introduced to reduce the rule base used
in mobile robot navigation. The framework is tested in
simulation and real time experiments and further compared
against other techniques.
Authors in [7] have used a genetic algorithm and a fuzzy
logic system for a mobile robot path planning. The genetic
algorithm was used to compute the optimal path to destination
especially in a dynamic environment due to its effective
adaptability to environment changes. The simulation results
validate the high efficiency of using the proposed mechanism
in challenging dynamic environments. In [8], authors
combined spiking neural networks technique for steering the
mobile robot in a known environment with a fuzzy logic
technique for navigating the mobile robot in an unknown
environment. This hybrid approach reduces time and path
taken to reach the target which result in an enhanced mobile
robot navigation performance.
In [9], a path tracking algorithm for both straight and
curved paths is developed. The proposed algorithm is based on
fuzzy logic where two controllers were designed. One is for
the steering angle of the mobile robot, and the other for
controlling the linear speed of the mobile robot. The vision
system created by the camera mounted on the robot is the
input to the fuzzy system. Multiple experiments are performed
to test the effectiveness of the proposed technique of path
tracking in straight and curved cases. The fuzzy steering
controller and the fuzzy velocity controller are successfully
adjusted the mobile robot’s speed in all experiments
conducted.
III. P
ROPOSED
M
ETHOD
This section discusses the proposed method in details. The
goal is to navigate the mobile robot in static and dynamic
environments without colliding with any obstacles. It should
also follow a black line during its movement. For efficient
mobile robot navigation, we proposed a collision free and
line follower robot based on fuzzy logic controller. The robot
used in our work is the E-puck robot which has a large
number of sensors for monitoring the surrounded
environment.
A. E-puck Mobile Robot
E-puck robot was developed at the EPFL. It is simple,
flexible, and user friendly mobile robot. It has 7.4 cm in
diameter and 4.5 cm hight with a weight of 150 g [10]. The
hardware is composed of a microcontroller and a wide set of
sensors and actuators such as: infrared (IR) proximity
sensors, a 3D accelerometer, RGB camera, three
microphones, two stepper motors, eight LEDs, and a speaker.
In addition, the E-puck robot can be connected to additional
sensors such as ground sensors as physical extensions [11].
In our work, we are mainly focused on the eight proximity
sensors which are infrared sensors, and the three ground
sensors. Fig. 1 shows the E-puck robot mounted with the
proximity and ground sensors. As shown in Fig.1, all eight
proximity sensors donated as PS0, PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, PS5,
PS6, and PS7 are located around the robot at different
directions. These sensors are infrared sensors which measure
the amount of light reflected of any obstacle presence. The
range values of these sensors are [0 2000], where an obstacle
is detected if one or more of these sensors have returned a
value of 1000 or more. Otherwise, there is no obstacle
around. In addition, the ground sensors donated as GS0, GS1,
GS2 are infrared sensors that are located underneath the E-
puck to detect the line for the line following approach.
Fig.1: The E-puck robot
B. Webots Simulator
Webots simulator is a well-known mobile robot simulator
that is widely used in many researches. It is used to model,
design, and program environments and mobile robots. Webots
is composed of four main windows. The scene tree lists all
obstacles in different shapes, sizes, and colors, and also a large
number of simulated sensors and actuators. The 3D window
displays the actual simulation. The console prints outputs.
Finally, the controller is used for editing and writing the
source code. The controller can be written in different
programming languages such as C, C++, Java, Python and
Matlab [10].
C. Fuzzy Logic Controller Design for Line Following
Mechanism
Fuzzy logic system has been used in many applications for
steering the mobile robot. It is widely used due to its low
computational load and its simplicity. The fuzzy logic system
has three main parts: fuzzification, inference engine and
defuzzification. The fuzzification process is responsible for
producing crisp fuzzy values. The inference engine is
responsible for computing the output variables based on
defined fuzzy rules in terms of If, Then representation. Lastly,
the defuzzification process is used to convert the fuzzy output
to crisp values for the objective of steering the mobile robot
[12].
For the line following approach in our work, we used the
three ground sensors located on the E-puck robot facing to the
ground. First, the difference () between the right (GS2) and
left (GS0) ground sensors is calculated. The delta value () is
the input to the fuzzy logic controller. Two outputs are
generated which are the left motor speed (LS), and the right
motor speed (RS) which adjust the robot speed to follow the
line. If both speeds are equal, the robot will move forward;
however, if the left speed value is lower than the right speed,
then the robot will move to the left direction and vice versa.
The pseudo code for the line following approach is
represented in Fig.2.
Fig.2: Line following pseudo code
The input variable delta () is divided into four
membership functions as follows: NB: negative big, NS:
negative small, PS: positive small, and PB: positive big. All
four membership functions are triangular-shaped membership
functions. Fig.3 shows the membership function for the input
delta ().
Fig.3: Input membership functions
In addition, the output variables LS and RS are divided into
four membership functions as follows: Very-Low: which
means very low speed, Low: corresponds to low speed, High:
means high speed, and Very-High: which means a very high
speed. All these membership functions are trapezoidal-shaped
membership functions. The centroid method is used for the
defuzzification process. Fig.4 shows the output membership
functions.
Fig. 4: Output membership functions
After defining the membership functions for the input and
the outputs, four IF-THEN fuzzy rules are developed for the
line following mechanism as follows:
IF (Delta () is NB) THEN (LS is Very-High) (RS is
Very-Low)
IF (Delta () is NS) THEN (LS is High) (RS is Low)
IF (Delta () is PS) THEN (LS is Low) (RS is High)
IF (Delta () is PB) THEN (LS is Very-Low) (RS is
Very-High)
1. while (true)
2. Enable and read 3 ground sensors values
(GS0-GS2)
3. Calculate = GS2- GS0.
4. Fyzzify the input
5. Apply fuzzy rules
6. Defuzzify the output
7. Set output values to the robot motor speeds
LS and RS
8. end while
Based on these rules, the robot will move left or right to
follow the line.
D. Collision Avoidance Mechanism
Eight proximity sensors are used for obstacle detection.
These sensors have a range from 0 to 2000 whereas 1000 or
more means there is a close obstacle and the robot needs to
adjust its speed to spin around the obstacle. After that, the
robot should continue following the line if there are no
obstacles. The threshold is set to 1000. Fig.5 represents the
pseudo code for the collision avoidance approach.
Fig.5: Collision avoidance pseudo code
IV. S
IMULATION AND REAL TIME
E
XPERIMENTAL
S
ETUP
Webots Pro simulator is used to test and simulate the
proposed line following and collision avoidance mechanisms.
In addition, the E-puck robot is used which is mounted with
eight proximity sensors for the collision avoidance technique
and three ground sensors for the line following technique. In
our simulation, we created an environment that consists of
multiple mobile robots and multiple obstacles in different
sizes, colors, and shapes. For the purpose of the line following
technique, a black line is drawn on a white surface. Fig.6
shows the simulation setup.
Fig.6: Simulation setup
Furthermore, Fig.7 demonstrates the simulation runs at
different times. The robot senses the surrounding environment
with its sensors. It starts by following the line until it finds an
obstacle on its way. As shown in Fig.7 (i, ii, and iii), Robot A
detects a static obstacle and thus spins around it to avoid
collision. Then, it returns to the line. In Fig.7 (iv, v, and vi),
Robot A and Robot B detect each other as dynamic obstacles.
Both avoid collisions by going to opposite directions and then
continue following the line. In addition, Robot B detects
another static obstacle and tries to avoid it by turning around
the obstacle as shown in Fig. 7(vii and viii). Finally, Robot A
detects a second static obstacle while Robot B follows the line
due to a non-obstacle presence as in Fig.7 (ix). The real time
experiment is displayed in Fig. 8. Both robots A and B detect
each other as dynamic obstacles and avoid each other by
adjusting their motor speeds and finally follow the line. The
mobile robots follow the line by calculating the delta value ()
which is further fed to the fuzzy logic controller to adjust the
left and right motor speeds accordingly.
Fig.7: The simulation runs at different times.
Fig.8: The real time experiment.
1. while (true)
2. Enable and read 8 proximity sensors values
(PS0-PS7)
3. If (Sensors values > Threshold) // Obstacle is
detected
- Adjust left and right motor speeds
- Avoid obstacle and go around it
- Return to the line
4. Else
Move forward and do line following
5. end while
V. P
ERFORMANCE
E
VALUATION RESULTS AND
D
ISCUSSION
The main contribution of this work is to steer the mobile
robot while following the line. The mobile robot also avoids
colliding with any obstacles on its path. The fuzzy logic
controller was designed for the line following mechanism
where it takes the delta value () as an input and provides the
left and right robot motor speeds based on the defined fuzzy
rules. The proximity sensors are responsible for the collision
avoidance technique. If one of these sensors reaches the
threshold value, obstacle is close to the robot and thus it needs
to adjust its speed and direction. Fig. 9 shows the proximity
sensors readings for robots A and B. As shown in Fig.9 (a),
the front proximity sensors (PS0 & PS7) for Robot A have
values higher than the threshold (1000) at times 4s, 43s, and
178s. This means that the robot has detected an obstacle. At
time 4s, Robot A detects the first obstacle and at time 178s
detects the second obstacle. At time 43s, Robot A has detected
the other mobile robot as a dynamic obstacle.
a. Proximity sensors readings for Robot A
b. Proximity sensors readings for Robot B
Fig.9. Proximity sensors readings
Similarly, the front proximity sensors (PS0 & PS7) for
Robot B have values higher than the threshold at times 43s
and 76s, respectively. At time 43s, Robot B has detected the
other mobile robot and considered it as a dynamic obstacle. At
time 76s, it detects another obstacle on its way.
In addition, Fig.10 demonstrates the left and right speeds
during the simulation. As shown in Fig.10, Robot A has
negative values for the left motor speed and positive values for
the right motor speeds at times 6s and 46s which indicates that
the robot has turned left to avoid collisions with static and
dynamic obstacles right after the detection of these obstacles.
At time 15s, Robot A has a positive value for the left speed
and negative value for the right speed which means that the
robot has turned right to return to the line. Also, Robot B has
turned left at time 46s after the detection of the dynamic
obstacle. At time 85s, Robot B has turned right to return to the
line.
Fig.11 and Fig.12 show the ground sensors reading and the
delta values () which corresponds to the difference between
the right (GS2) and left (GS0) ground sensors at different
simulation times, respectively.
Fig.10: Left and right speeds for Robots A and B.
Fig.11: Left and right ground sensors readings for Robots A and B
Fig.12: Delta values () for Robots A and B
If delta is a negative value, this means that the robot has
shifted to the left outside the line. Therefore, the robot needs
to adjust its speed to move right to follow the line. According
to the designed fuzzy logic controller and the fuzzy rules,
when delta is NB, the left motor will be set to a very high
speed and the right motor will be set to a very low speed so
the robot will move hardly to the right. As shown in Fig.12,
Robot B has a big negative delta at time 110s. As a result,
Robot B moves to the right and set LS to a very high value
and RS to a very low value to keep following the line as
shown in Fig.10. Similarly, if delta is NS, LS will be high and
RS will be low so the robot will move softly to the right. To
illustrate, at time 76s, Robot A has small negative value so the
robot adjusts its speed to move softly to the right as shown in
Fig.12 and Fig.10.
On the other hand, if delta is a positive value, this means
that the robot has shifted to the right outside the line.
Therefore, the robot needs to adjust its speed to move left to
follow the line. According to the designed fuzzy logic
controller and the fuzzy rules, when delta is PS, the left motor
will be set to a low speed and the right motor will be set to a
high speed so the robot will move to the left which is the case
for Robot A at times 2s, 35s, 132s, and 178s where it moves
softly to the left to follow the line as shown in Fig.12 and
Fig.10. Finally, when delta is PB, LS will be set to a very low
speed and RS will be set to a very high speed so the robot can
move hardly to the left to follow the line. To illustrate, Robot
A at time 85s where delta is a big positive value, the robot
moves hardly to the left as shown in Fig.12 and Fig.10. There
are other cases where fuzzy rules are not applicable as the
robot is in the collision avoidance control and its speed is
adjusted accordingly. As a result, the collision avoidance has a
higher priority than the line following to avoid colliding with
any obstacles along the path.
VI. CONCLUSIONS
This paper developed the collision avoidance and line
following mechanisms for mobile robot navigation. The E-
puck robot is used in this work which is equipped with eight
proximity sensors for the collision avoidance approach, and
three ground sensors for the line following approach. A fuzzy
logic controller was designed with one input and two outputs.
The input is the difference between the right and left ground
sensors values and the outputs are the left and right motor
speeds. Membership functions of the input and the outputs are
developed. The fuzzy logic controller is based on four fuzzy
rules. The simulation and real time experiments validate the
effectiveness and the robustness of the proposed method in
static and dynamic environments.
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... Many scientific works propose approaches with various combinations of methods based on virtual fields presented in (Padilla Castaneda, 2008) and (Lim Chee, 2002), A* and D* algorithms presented in (Matias, 2015) and (Dolgov, 2008), fuzzy logic presented in (Almasri, 2016) and (Mac, 2016), neural networks presented in (Nohaidda, 2014) and (Lo, 2013), and other presented in (Moon, 2016) and (Walambe, 2016). Analysis of these works shows that hybrid path planning systems consist of several functional modules M i . ...
... Robot navigation refers to the robot's ability to determine its own position in the environment and then to plan a path towards its goal positions based on its knowledge about the environment and sensor values so as to reach its goal positions as efficiently and reliably as possible. Research on navigation algorithms is necessary to improve automatic mobile robots in all fields [1][2][3][4][5][6]. The navigation algorithm is the key technology for the autonomous navigation of robots, and it is also a research hotspot in the field of AMR. ...
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... The dual mode feature and miniature size have made it unique and suitable to apply in gas detection especially in remote areas. In Obstacle Avoiding Mode the robot can move freely through space avoiding any obstacles in its paths [4] [5]. It then sends the data about its surroundings wirelessly to the monitor, this mode can be used in places where the gas leakage needs to be checked inside a tunnels, vents or pipes where it is difficult for human to reach due to lack of space. ...
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