Energy-Efficient Mobile Robot Control via Run-time Monitoring of Environmental Complexity and Computing Workload

09/08/2021
by   Sherif A. S. Mohamed, et al.
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We propose an energy-efficient controller to minimize the energy consumption of a mobile robot by dynamically manipulating the mechanical and computational actuators of the robot. The mobile robot performs real-time vision-based applications based on an event-based camera. The actuators of the controller are CPU voltage/frequency for the computation part and motor voltage for the mechanical part. We show that independently considering speed control of the robot and voltage/frequency control of the CPU does not necessarily result in an energy-efficient solution. In fact, to obtain the highest efficiency, the computation and mechanical parts should be controlled together in synergy. We propose a fast hill-climbing optimization algorithm to allow the controller to find the best CPU/motor configuration at run-time and whenever the mobile robot is facing a new environment during its travel. Experimental results on a robot with Brushless DC Motors, Jetson TX2 board as the computing unit, and a DAVIS-346 event-based camera show that the proposed control algorithm can save battery energy by an average of 50.5 medium-complexity, and high-complexity environments, over baselines.

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