Sensors-based mobile robot for harsh environments: functionalities, energy consumption analysis and characterization

Roberto De Fazio, Dany Mpoi Katamba, Aimè Lay Ekuakille, Miguel Joseph Ferreira, Simon Kidiamboko, Nicola Ivan Giannoccaro, Ramiro Velazquez, Paolo Visconti


Mobile robots and rovers play an important role in many industrial applications. Under certain constraints, they are suitable in harsh environments and conditions in which protracted human activity is not safe or permitted. In many circumstances, mechanical aspects and electrical consumption need to be optimized for autonomous and wheeled mobile robots. The paper illustrates the design of a semi-custom wheeled mobile robot with high-efficiency mono- or polycrystalline photovoltaic panel on the roof that supports the lithium ion batteries during particular tasks (e.g. navigating rough terrain, obstacles or steep paths) to extend the robot’s autonomy. An electronic controller was designed, and data acquisition related to power consumption performed using a specific experimental setup. The robot can detect parameters such as temperature, humidity, concentrations of toxic gas species and the presence of flames, making it particularly suitable for contaminated environments or industrial plants. For this aim, the mobile robot was equipped with a wide range of commercial sensors and a Global Positioning System receiver to track its position. In addition, using an HC-06 Bluetooth transceiver, the robot receives commands and instructions, and sends the acquired data to the developed IoTool smartphone application, where they are displayed to be analysed by user.

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