Semi-Autonomous Mobile Hexapod Unmanned Ground Robot (SAMHUGR)

Project Abstract / Summary : In the field of military reconnaissance, sending troops in for surveillance behind enemy lines can prove to be a hazardous mission. Risk of detection and loss of life is too high. Moreover soldiers have to withstand extreme conditions of the environment around them. In ethological research i.e the study of the behaviour of animals in their natural habitat, when humans are present in the habitat it alters the behaviour of the animal which sees the humans as a threat. So there is a risk of humans being attacked or the animal fleeing from the area. To overcome those problems an unmanned ground vehicle is a plausible solution.An autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) is essentially anautonomous robotthat operates without the need for a human controller. The vehicle uses its sensors to develop some limited understanding of the environment, which is then used by control algorithms to determine the next action to take in the context of a human provided mission goal. This fully eliminates the need for any human to watch over the menial tasks that the UGV is completing. Current applications of such military and ethological robots incorporate a wheel based design. Wheeled robots are typically quite energy efficient and simple to control. In terms of energy efficiency on flat surfaces, wheeled robots are the most efficient. This is due to the fact that an ideal rolling (but not slipping) wheel loses no energy. A wheel rolling at a given velocity needs no input to maintain its motion. But there is major disadvantage to wheeled robots that makes it almost unusable for the aforementioned applications. Such robots are unadaptive to rough terrain. These robots do not have the capacity to seamlessly navigate through uneven terrain with potholes that can trap the wheels.A way to solve this problem is to use a Hexapod based design. Semi-autonomous Mobile Hexapod Unmanned Ground Robot (SAMHUGR) is a hexapod based robot which can be remotely accessed using a secure connection through the internet or an ad-hoc network. An onboard camera sends live video feed to a web page used to control the robot to aid in navigation. When there is a network connection, SAMHUGR is in manual mode and can be controlled using the web page. Once it goes out of the network and loses user control it switches to autonomous mode until it detects and connects to the internet and comes in control of the web interface. When the SAMHUGR is in autonomous mode, all sensor data and camera video feed are recorded so that the user can access the data when it comes back online.The SAMHUGR uses a microcontroller to give movement instructions to the actuators. The microcontroller is activated by an embedded linux based system incorporated into the SAMHUGR. The Web page is hosted on a web server on the embedded linux system.

Why did you choose to work on this project topic : Conventionally reconnaissance vehicles used in military application have a wheel based design. Such wheel based robots have a major disadvantage of being unadaptive to rough terrain. These robots do not have the capacity to seamlessly navigate through uneven terrain with potholes that can trap the wheels. Naturally certain insects have octopod shaped exoskeleton. When a similar design approach is incorporated in to rohots instead of wheels, the problem of traversing rough terrain is solved. A hexapod design i.e six legged robot can use a wide range of motions to navigate out of any obstacle in the terrain. With such an adaptive motion, this type of robot can be remotely controlled to make it a semi-autonomous robot for Military Reconnaissance And Ethological Research.

Project Category : Robotics / RC / Automation
Institute/College Name: Dhanalakshmi College of Engineering, Manimangalam
City: Chennai
State: Tamil Nadu
Participating Team From: Final Year


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