DOI: 10.3390/vehicles5030049 ISSN: 2624-8921

Real-Time Hardware-in-the-Loop Emulation of Path Tracking in Low-Cost Agricultural Robots

Ingrid J. Moreno, Dina Ouardani, Daniel Chaparro-Arce, Alben Cardenas
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering

Reducing costs and time spent in experiments in the early development stages of vehicular technology such as off-road and agricultural semi-autonomous robots could help progress in this research area. In particular, evaluating path tracking strategies in the semi-autonomous operation of robots becomes challenging because of hardware costs, the time required for preparation and tests, and constraints associated with external aspects such as meteorological or weather conditions or limited space in research laboratories. This paper proposes a methodology for the real-time hardware-in-the-loop emulation of path tracking strategies in low-cost agricultural robots. This methodology enables the real-time validation of path tracking strategies before their implementation on the robot. To validate this, we propose implementing a path tracking strategy using only the information of motor’s angular speed and robot yaw velocity obtained from encoders and a low-cost inertial measurement unit (IMU), respectively. This paper provides a simulation with MATLAB/Simulink, hardware-in-the-loop with Qube-servo (Quanser), and experimental results with an Agribot platform to confirm its validity.

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