First Advisor

Marek A. Perkowski

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Electrical and Computer Engineering


Electrical Engineering




Matching theory, Sonar, Mobile robots



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, xi, 136 p.)


The PSUBOT (pronounced pea-es-you-bought) is an autonomous wheelchair robot for persons with certain disabilities. Its use of voice recognition and autonomous navigation enable it to carry out high level commands with little or no user assistance. We first describe the goals, constraints, and capabilities of the overall system including path planning and obstacle avoidance. We then focus on localization-the ability of the robot to locate itself in space. Odometry, a compass, and an algorithm which matches points to lines are each employed to accomplish this task. The matching algorithm (which matches "points" to "lines") is the main contribution to this work. The .. points" are acquired from a rotating sonar device, and the "lines" are extracted from a user-entered line-segment model of the building. The algorithm assumes that only small corrections are necessary to correct for odometry errors which inherently accumulate, and makes a correction by shifting and rotating the sonar image so that the data points are as close as possible to the lines. A modification of the basic algorithm to accommodate parallel lines was developed as well as an improvement to the basic noise removal algorithm. We found that the matching algorithm was able to determine the location of the robot to within one foot even when required to correct for as many as five feet of simulated odometry error. Finally, the algorithm's complexity was found to be well within the processing power of currently available hardware.


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