DOI: 10.3390/math11163594 ISSN:

AI-Enabled Condition Monitoring Framework for Outdoor Mobile Robots Using 3D LiDAR Sensor

Sathian Pookkuttath, Povendhan Arthanaripalayam Palanisamy, Mohan Rajesh Elara
  • General Mathematics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

An automated condition monitoring (CM) framework is essential for outdoor mobile robots to trigger prompt maintenance and corrective actions based on the level of system deterioration and outdoor uneven terrain feature states. Vibration indicates system failures and terrain abnormalities in mobile robots; hence, five vibration threshold classes for CM in outdoor mobile robots were identified, considering both vibration source system deterioration and uneven terrain. This study proposes a novel CM approach for outdoor mobile robots using a 3D LiDAR, employed here instead of its usual use as a navigation sensor, by developing an algorithm to extract the vibration-indicated data based on the point cloud, assuring low computational costs without losing vibration characteristics. The algorithm computes cuboids for two prominent clusters in every point cloud frame and sets motion points at the corners and centroid of the cuboid. The three-dimensional vector displacement of these points over consecutive point cloud frames, which corresponds to the vibration-affected clusters, are compiled as vibration indication data for each threshold class. A simply structured 1D Convolutional Neural Network (1D CNN)-based vibration threshold prediction model is proposed for fast, accurate, and real-time application. Finally, a threshold class mapping framework is developed which fuses the predicted threshold classes on the 3D occupancy map of the workspace, generating a 3D CbM map in real time, fostering a Condition-based Maintenance (CbM) strategy. The offline evaluation test results show an average accuracy of vibration threshold classes of 89.6% and consistent accuracy during real-time field case studies of 89%. The test outcomes validate that the proposed 3D-LiDAR-based CM framework is suitable for outdoor mobile robots, assuring the robot’s health and operational safety.

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