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A simulation of autonomous and cooperative behaviours using LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT

Arsiratham, Jayacelan Reddiar (2010) A simulation of autonomous and cooperative behaviours using LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT. Other thesis, Murdoch University.


This report focuses on autonomous and collaborative behaviour of robots through communications, which could be useful in battlefield or emergency situations. At present, roadside bombings in Iraq mostly involve the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). The current scenario of IED clearance and disposal are by using remote-controlled operational robots to search and defuse the IED. In the event of a pre-detonation or error in defusing, a highly functional robot is lost. This project hopes to reduce cost and display a proof of concept, where complementary capabilities amongst robots could assist in completing a task or mission.

To demonstrate the implementation of autonomous and collaborative behaviour, a pair of autonomous robots was built. The advantage of designing a pair of robots rather than a single robot was because it is cost-effective in the long-run. The Master robot, serving as a full featured robot would be fully operational whereas the sacrificial robot could be made at low-cost with minimal features. The robotics platform for prototyping these robots was Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0. The simulation of a search and destroy of IEDs using robots was prototyped.

The scenario was to locate and destroy an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The Master robot will search for the IED in a simulated environment, which is divided into four different colour zones for the purpose of localisation. Once the master robot has found the IED, it will inform the sacrificial robot of the zone where the IED was found. Subsequently, the sacrificial robot would go to the destination to locate the IED at the specified zone. Once the sacrificial robot has found the IED, it is assumed the IED is destroyed. This scenario reflects how the robots would likely be used in Iraq or an urban war zone.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Energy
Supervisor(s): Crebbin, Gregory
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