Title

Automated Sensor Node Retrieval Robot

Poster Number

31

Lead Author Affiliation

SOECS

Introduction

Other researchers are developing methods to use an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to autonomously deploy sensor nodes in remote locations. These areas tend to be difficult to reach, but easily accessible by air, hence the UAV. If these nodes break, it can be time consuming or difficult for a human to go out and retrieve the node. To address this issue, we are developing an autonomous robot that will retrieve failing sensor nodes from the field, and bring it back to a location more accessible to humans.

Purpose

The robot can find the general location of the node based on GPS data given by the user. Using the infrared (IR) sensors, the robot avoids obstacles and humans, while adjusting the direction it travels by using a compass sensor on its way to the location of the node. When it gets close to the node, the robot uses a camera to find where the node is precisely located. When the robot reaches the node, it uses a mechanical arm to pick the node, then returns to its starting location.

Method

In order to move the robot, we created a motor controller using H-bridge to direct power between the four DC motors, allowing for the robot to move forward, backwards, or turn left or right. The robot can hold at least 15 kg, split between itself and a sensor node. The IR sensors are connected to the microcontroller, with other sensors (GPS, Compass, Camera) connected to the Raspberry Pi. The entire system is powered by rechargeable lithium polymer and lithium ion batteries that can keep the robot running around 25 to 30 minutes.

Results

We designed and built the robot chassis. We then completed the circuit that controls the movement of the robot. The robot can move and avoid obstacles around it. We are currently designing an expansion for the chassis where the mechanical arm and storage for the node will attach to the robot.

Significance

The robot we are constructing is a piece of a larger system that will be used to autonomously deploy and maintain a wireless sensor network. This will help to limit negative the effects of human interaction with the environment and provide a means to more cheaply and quickly maintain a system that may be in a remote area.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

Format

Poster Presentation

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Apr 25th, 10:00 AM Apr 25th, 12:00 PM

Automated Sensor Node Retrieval Robot

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

Other researchers are developing methods to use an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to autonomously deploy sensor nodes in remote locations. These areas tend to be difficult to reach, but easily accessible by air, hence the UAV. If these nodes break, it can be time consuming or difficult for a human to go out and retrieve the node. To address this issue, we are developing an autonomous robot that will retrieve failing sensor nodes from the field, and bring it back to a location more accessible to humans.