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Development of an autonomous robotic rover for collaborative Drone-Rover environmental monitoring missions

Bolonakis Georgios

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Year 2020
Type of Item Diploma Work
Bibliographic Citation Georgios Bolonakis, "Development of an autonomous robotic rover for collaborative Drone-Rover environmental monitoring missions", Diploma Work, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2020
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In our days, there is a growing interest in applications of autonomous cooperative missions of robotic teams, such as post-disaster search-and-rescue, environmental measurements, surveillance of works and sites, etc., in areas inaccessible to humans. The subject of this thesis is the development (hardware and software) of an autonomous ground robotic rover for collaborative drone-rover environmental monitoring missions. The aim is to autonomously navigate and operate the rover in a hard-to-access area, after transporting it with the drone using an already implemented coupling system between the two vehicles. To achieve this goal, the initially selected six-wheel-drive vehicle platform was expanded with additional 3D-printed bases, where the necessary electronic components were installed. All vehicle components (motors, sensors, controllers, antennas, batteries, etc.) are connected to and controlled by a Raspberry Pi 3b. Extensive use of the Robot Operating System (ROS) for reliable synchronization, communication and scalability has been extensively used to solve the problem of autonomous navigation. With the help of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and the open-source Open Street Maps (OSM), the algorithms necessary for autonomous vehicle navigation along any possible desired route have been developed. Two-way communication within the embedded systems, as well as between the motion and flight controllers located on the rover and the drone respectively, was implemented to ensure seamless communication between them and the necessary coordination for their operation. The robotic vehicle that has been developed, was tested in real-world conditions and, in addition to remote or autonomous navigation, it has the ability to create new maps in the area where it moves. The proposed system provides a reliable basis for developing more complex robotic teams for collaborative missions.

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