Millimeter-wave Foresight Sensing for Safety and Resilience in Autonomous Operations

03/24/2022
by   Daniel Mitchell, et al.
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Robotic platforms are highly programmable, scalable and versatile to complete several tasks including Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (IMR). Mobile robotics offer reduced restrictions in operating environments, resulting in greater flexibility; operation at height, dangerous areas and repetitive tasks. Cyber physical infrastructures have been identified by the UK Robotics Growth Partnership as a key enabler in how we utilize and interact with sensors and machines via the virtual and physical worlds. Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) allow for robotics and artificial intelligence to adapt and repurpose at pace, allowing for the addressment of new challenges in CPS. A challenge exists within robotics to secure an effective partnership in a wide range of areas which include shared workspaces and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS). Robotic manipulation abilities have improved a robots accessibility via the ability to open doorways, however, challenges exist in how a robot decides if it is safe to move into a new workspace. Current sensing methods are limited to line of sight and are unable to capture data beyond doorways or walls, therefore, a robot is unable to sense if it is safe to open a door. Another limitation exists as robots are unable to detect if a human is within a shared workspace. Therefore, if a human is detected, extended safety precautions can be taken to ensure the safe autonomous operation of a robot. These challenges are represented as safety, trust and resilience, inhibiting the successful advancement of CPS. This paper evaluates the use of frequency modulated continuous wave radar sensing for human detection and through-wall detection to increase situational awareness. The results validate the use of the sensor to detect the difference between a person and infrastructure, and increased situational awareness for navigation via foresight monitoring through walls.

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