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Distributed Multi-Agent Mobile Platform with Digital Actuation Concept

Keizo Miyahara


This paper describes architecture of an unmanned, multi-agent mobile robot system that consists of a number of identical units. Every unit employs distributed control, and is mechanically connected each other. A proposing example unit contains a Gough-Stewart Platform, a symmetrical type of parallel link manipulator, as its leg. The whole mobile system is aimed at transportation platform, with high system flexibility, i.e. the system is able to adapt to wide range of target objects. The "Digital Acuation (D-actuation)" concept is applied to the local unit controller. D-actuation is a concept to drive a mechatronic system with numbers of "digital actuator (D-actuator)" that has only discrete stable states, such as pneumatic cylinders or solenoids. D-actuation yields great benefits: high repeatability, system simplicity, and low cost. Because of the simplicity of the communication data, the control strategy, and the concept of D-actuation, the controlling framework can be implemented as distributed and localized ones on every unit. The basic design of the mobile unit and gait control strategy are described with simulation results in this paper. The performed simulation shows the feasibility of the whole mobile system.

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