Outdoor mobile robotics: from design to motion control and planning
With the present environmental challenges, agriculture and construction are two major economic branches for the future of robotics. In order to address the environment conditions in these kind of applications, robots must be fast and agile enough to explore and operate quickly in a large space, guarantee their integrity and that of the environment, and self-adapt to highly variable soil conditions and irregular surfaces with obstacles. In this presentation we will discuss aspects related to the design and control of agile robots with a high number of degrees of freedom capable of safely crossing any obstacles, without a priori knowledge of their shape and precise position. In a second part, we will address issues related to fast rover navigation and particularly their control based on a predictive based approach in the presence of slippages, rollover risks, and collision constraints, as well as the online estimation of the physical and geometric parameters of the local ground surface, required for the model based controller.