A Hybrid Method for Industrial Robot Navigation

Document Type : Original Manuscript

Author

Faculty of Electrical, Biomedical and Mechatronics Engineering, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran

10.22094/joie.2020.1863337.1629

Abstract

Robot navigation in dynamic unknown environments is a challenging issue in the field of autonomous mobile robot control. This paper presents a hybrid robust method for navigating an industrial robot in an environment that contains dynamic obstacles. The objectives are to find the shortest path, to minimize the energy consumption of robot, to make the smoothness of the generated paths and to tackle dynamic obstacles. Robots employed in industrial environments demand considerable autonomy and require high level of accuracy and manoeuvrability at the same time. Besides, no collision is tolerable along the way. A single-objective optimization method based on path criteria fails to satisfy all of the requirements. This paper proposes a hybrid algorithm including the whale optimization algorithm (WOA) for path planning, a learnable function approximation network for making smoothness of the generated paths and a fuzzy logic controller to avoid obstacle collision. In this algorithm, WOA optimizes the best path to be taken from the start to goal position. Once a sequence of points is candidate and segments of path are merged, a radial basis function is trained to provide a smooth movement path in the dynamic environment while trying to maximize the safety margin. To further improve the safety of navigation, a fuzzy-based obstacle avoidance algorithm is executed when the robot is placed in the vicinity of an obstacle. Fuzzy decisions are made based on values of distance information. The proposed hybrid method for path planning and obstacle avoidance issues was implemented and evaluated in dynamic environments including specific shaped obstacles. A GUI-based simulation platform was designed in Matlab environment for testing the proposed algorithm. Implementation results indicate that the proposed algorithm has yielded in smooth non-marginal goal-directed navigation with acceptable performance metrics. Meanwhile, collisions to dynamic obstacles were adaptively and non-rigidly avoided. Such a model-free hybrid algorithm for path planning and obstacle avoidance can improve autonomy in industrial operation and decrease computational complexity.

Graphical Abstract

A Hybrid Method for Industrial Robot Navigation

Highlights

  • The proposed hybrid path planning algorithm could yield in smooth non-marginal goal-directed navigation with acceptable performance metrics.
  • Collisions to dynamic obstacles were adaptively and non-rigidly avoided using local fuzzy-based path planner.
  • The algorithm is robust to environmental changes such that sudden changes as addition/remove of obstacles as well as changes in the position of robot and/or goal are tolerable.

Keywords


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