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Autonomous tracking device based on luggage carrier

Kaub, Yvonne (2015) Autonomous tracking device based on luggage carrier. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Creating intelligent systems that can sense and interact with their environment has been a huge factor behind the work on artificial intelligence and automation. It involves multidisciplinary and complex technology that has proven to be challenging for researchers working in that area. Despite this, great progress has been made in this area of study over recent years and automated systems can be found everywhere in our daily lives from the automobile industry to manufacturing.

The aim of this project involves investigating the idea of an autonomous tracking device. This device will be based on an autonomous luggage piece which would make a traveller’s journey a lot easier. It is important to keep in mind that this idea could be implemented on more than just luggage. Other systems this could be implemented on would be shopping trolleys, golf bags or even for film making.

In order to achieve autonomy, background research on triangulation was conducted and is presented in this document. The sensors used for distance measurements were modified ultrasonic sensors used in combination with radio and Bluetooth transmitters.

The whole project involved the design of two devices, one carried by the person and hence referred to as ‘the personal device’ throughout this document and one tracking robot. The tracking device’s control circuit was placed on a rigid body with two DC motor driven wheels at the front. Power was supplied by using a battery pack and the device’s brain consisted of Arduino microcontrollers.

The motor shield purchased to drive these motors failed to work properly and hence the device could not be tested as an autonomous device. It is still shown that the control algorithm implemented can modify the PWM frequency inputs to the motors according to the direction the device needs to travel in. Hence the use of triangulation in combination with feedback control to drive an autonomous device is indeed feasible. Collision avoidance was implemented using Infrared sensors.

Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Parlevliet, David
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