The Development of a Multi-arm Mobile Robot System for Nuclear Decommissioning Applications.

Bakari, Mohamed Jeylani (2008) The Development of a Multi-arm Mobile Robot System for Nuclear Decommissioning Applications. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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This PhD thesis is based in the field of robotics and introduces a case study of the design and development of a multi-arm mobile robot system for nuclear decommissioning (MARS-ND). A key premise underlying the research was to develop intelligence in the robot that is similar to the cooperation and communication between the human brain and its two arms; hence the human body was adopted as the starting point to establish the size and functionality of the proposed system. The approach adopted for this research demonstrates the development, integration and configuration of a multi-arm robot system which consists of two human armlike off-the-shelf manipulators whose joints are controlled using potentiometer sensors and hydraulic actuators. Using the manipulators' sensor feedback, a wide variety of complex tasks found in the rapidly expanding field of nuclear decommissioning can be undertaken. The thesis also considers the issue of collaboration, collision detection and collision avoidance between the two arms of MARS-ND. As part of the final stage of this research the author participated in a collaborative research project with the Sugano Laboratory at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. The three major research issues addressed in this thesis are: 1. The selection and integration of off-the-shelf hardware in the development of MARS-ND using the latest technology available for robotic systems 2. The creation of a suitable control system for the robot arms; and the building of an advanced, user-friendly interface between the robot system and the host computer 3. The investigation and implementation of collaboration, coordinated motion control and collision detection & avoidance techniques for the robot arms The hardware and software integration for the whole robotic system is explained with the proposed software architecture and the use of National Instruments (NI) functions and tools to control the movement of the arm joints and the performance of a selected decommissioning task. This thesis also examines the operational software applied within the research through its discussion of four interlinked areas: 1. The control software and hardware interface for the MARS-ND and the controller architecture 2. The application of an NI Compact FieldPoint controller and FieldPoint I/O modules to facilitate wireless communication between the Multi-Arm Mobile Robot system and the user interface in the host PC 3. The use of Measurement and Automation Explorer (MAX) and LabVIEW software tools for calibration and the building of user interfaces required for sending and receiving the signals needed to control the robot arm joints accurately 4. The application of a PID toolkit in LabVIEW for the design of a simple PID controller for the individual arm joints with a potentiometer sensor fitted inside each joint in order to provide a feedback signal to the controller The thesis concludes that MARS-ND is a good example of a robotic system specifically designed for hazardous nuclear decommissioning applications. It demonstrates the complexity of such a system from a number of aspects such as the need for mobility, control, sensor and system design, and integration using modem tools that are available off-the-shelf. In addition the use of these modern tools allows a single mechatronics engineer to design, integrate, interface and build a motion control system for MARS-ND as compared to the traditional way of building a similar robot by a team of specialised engineers. The contribution this research makes to the design and building of multi-arm robot system for nuclear decommissioning industry concerns its size and mobility using a mobile platform to transport the multi-arm robot system. In addition links have been made between Lancaster University and Waseda University in the context of the development of multi-arm robot systems.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Lancaster University (United Kingdom), 2008.
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Deposited On:
02 May 2019 16:36
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 00:35