Control and Navigation of an Autonomous Bicycle

Student   Niklas Persson
Advisors   Alessandro V. Papadopoulos
Martin Ekström
Mikael Ekström
Faculty Reviewer   Simone Formentin, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Grading Committee   Marta Marrón Romera, Universidad de Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Martin Fabian, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
Annica Kristoffersson, Mälardalen University, Sweden (reserve)
Defence   Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden
Room Gamma and Zoom meeting (Link will be made public)
Mar 21st, 2023 13:15
Abstract   Autonomous control of mobile robots is a research topic that has received a lot of interest. There are several challenging problems associated with autonomous mobile robots, including low-level control, localisation, and navigation. Most research in the past has focused on developing algorithms for three or four-wheeled mobile robots, such as autonomous cars, which are statically stable systems. In this thesis, autonomous two-wheeled robots are considered, such as autonomous bicycles, which are naturally unstable systems, and without proper actuation, they will lose balance and fall over. Thus, before developing algorithms for higher-level functionality such as localisation and navigation of an autonomous bicycle, the balance of the bicycle needs to be addressed. This is an interesting research problem as the bicycle is a statically unstable system that has proven difficult to control, but given adequate forward velocity, it is possible to balance a bicycle using only steering actuation. Moreover, given a sufficient forward velocity, the bicycle can even become self-stabilised.
In this thesis, the balance and trajectory tracking of an autonomous bicycle is investigated. First, we propose an extension of previously proposed bicycle models to capture the steering dynamics including the motor used for controlling the handlebar. Next, several control methods which can stabilise an autonomous bicycle by actuation of the steering axis and the forward velocity of the bicycle are developed. The controllers are compared in simulations on both a linear and nonlinear bicycle model. The simulation evaluation proceeds with experiments conducted on an instrumented bicycle running on a bicycle roller. Moreover, trajectory tracking of an autonomous bicycle is addressed using a model predictive controller approach where the reference lean angle is computed at every sample interval and is tracked by the inner loop balance controller. Finally, path planning in a static environment is considered where the proposed strategy realises a smooth path that adheres to the kinematic and dynamic constraints of the bicycle while avoiding obstacles and optimises the number of heading changes and the path distance. The results obtained from detailed multibody simulations highlight the feasibility of the balance controller, trajectory tracking controller, and path planner.
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Rules for Third-cycle Studies at MDH - Chapter 3.1.7 Public Defence of a Thesis
Instructions regarding public defences and licentiate seminars on account of the outbreak of Covid19 (Coronavirus)
Thesis   Thesis
Included Papers   Paper A: A Loop Shaping Method for Stabilising a Riderless Bicycle .
Paper B: A Comparative Analysis and Design of Controllers for Autonomous Bicycles .
Paper C: Trajectory tracking and stabilisation of a riderless bicycle .
Paper D: On the Initialization Problem for Timed-Elastic Bands .
Publications   Complete list of publications

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Last modified: 2023-10-04 09:39:34 +0200