Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Prado A.J., Torres-Torriti M., Cheein F.A. (2021)

Distributed Tube-Based Nonlinear MPC for Motion Control of Skid-Steer Robots With Terra-Mechanical Constraints

Revista : IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Volumen : 6
Número : 4
Páginas : 8045-8052
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Strategies to reduce slippage and disturbing wheel-terrain interactions are essential to improve navigation and motion control of field robots. Thus, this work proposes an integral control architecture based on a distributed tube-based nonlinear Model Predictive Control scheme to regulate tire dynamics and an adaptive model-based control scheme for trajectory tracking over deformable terrain. For the proposed control architecture, the overall system is decomposed into simpler subsystems to separately represent the four-tire driven motion dynamics (i.e., slip and sideslip) from that of the vehicle’s pose and speeds. Since a vehicle and its tires have different dynamic response characteristics, cooperative agents of the distributed control strategy are able to exchange information between subsystems to attain evenly allocated drivetrain torques during slippery situations. The motion controller is made adaptive to terra-mechanical parameters with a Nonlinear Moving Horizon Estimation approach working under a parallel Real-Time Iteration scheme. Field experimentations in an industrial compact loader Cat ° 262 C subject to off-road conditions demonstrated that the proposed approach was capable of reducing up to a minimum of 18.2% of tire slip and sidelip range of ±6.6? when compared to its non-robust counterpart. Consequently, the proposed approach was also able to reduce lateral and longitudinal trajectory tracking errors by around 66.6% and 43.7%, respectively, which may have a direct impact on the resources of the machinery.