Autonomous navigation of robotic units in mobile sensor network
This work is motivated by the problem of detecting buried anti-tank and anti-personnel mines in roads or some border regions. The problem is tried to be solved by use of small mobile robotic sensors and their some abilities such as measurement of local fields, navigation around a region, communications with each other, and constituting team within a mission area. The aim of this work is to investigate the navigation problem for the team behavior of mobile sensors within a potential field available in a small-scale environment such as an indoor area or an outdoor region. The mobile sensor network here is a collection of robotic units with sensing capability of earth magnetic field anomalies. A new kind of positioning system is needed for their collective behavior. In this work, a new method of navigation is proposed as a local positioning system. It utilizes ultrasound and radio frequency information to determine the coordinates of the points inside the operational area. The method proposed here is compared with the ultra wideband ranging ping-pong method that is used widely in recent applications. A time division multiple access method is used for the communications among the mobile sensors. The results on the positioning methods together with several simulations and experimental works are given. It is shown that the positioning method utilizing ultrasound-radio frequency method can give fairly good results. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.