The energy-efficient design of autonomous and mobile sensor-integrated robotic devices for data acquisition on dikes.
A subproject of the STW-ASSYS (10550) project Energy-efficient desing and control of mobile RObotic SENsor networks.
Description of research
A large part of the Netherlands is below sea level, this includes the densely populated ”randstad” area. This part would flood without the Dutch dike system. Therefore, it is important to keep the Dutch water works in shape and up-to- date. Recent (2003, 2004) dike failures have shown that the knowledge on the flood-repel systems in insufficient to prevent flooding. One of the evident problems is that many dikes are old and their composition unknown. In response to the 2003 and 2004 floods an effort is started to see if sensor technology can increase the insight in the existing water works economically.
The goal of the ROSE project is to develop a team of robotic sensors that will autonomously acquire data about the composition, consistency and condition of a dike. An ideal framework would be a collaborating team of air (UAV’s), ground and water based robots. However, the development of all three platforms goes beyond the time and financial means of the ROSE project. Therefore, the focus will be on the realization of a team of ground vehicles.
This research aims at the development of the robotic sensor units, the actual inspection robot. Such a robot has to face many of the existing challenges in robotics. From these challenges four major design topics have been determined within the project:
1. Locomotion: Although many robotic vehicles have been designed to move in rough terrain, still a lot of research is going on in this field. The robots in the ROSE system will have to deal with unknown soils and gradients.
2. Localization And Mapping: Since the terrain in which the robots have to navigate is mainly unknown, the robots have to find out what their environment looks like and where they are in order to navigate in it. In addition it is also necessary to link the acquired data to a location and orientation in order to interpret it. Therefore, the robot needs to obtain this information.
3. Dike data acquisition: The main task of the robotic system is to acquire data on the consistency, composition and condition of dikes.