Mechanical design and position control of a modular mechatronic device (MechaCell)
Manufacturing techniques have advanced exponentially in recent years, providing means for production of smaller and more powerful electronics, which makes it compelling to design small and more powerful robots. Our work focuses on a mechanical design and position control of a modular mechatronic device called MechaCell. Mechacells are designed as modular semi-autonomous devices which can be used alone or part of a pack. In this paper our main focus is on the mechanical design of the Mechacell, especially the locomotion system which uses forces produced by a rotating unbalance that moves in a spherical domain for steering of the Mechacell. As part of the supervisory algorithm an overhead HD camera is used for position tracking of the Mechacell; the data is then sent to the Mechacells through a wireless connection. A proportional integral derivative controller is used as a base controller; then a friction compensation algorithm is added, based on the mathematical model of the Mechacell's locomotion system. Steering and locomotion controller of the Mechacell is validated using a complex motion profile in the developed testbed.