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Failure recognition and fault tolerance of an autonomous robot

By Cynthia Ferrell


The purpose of this paper is twofold. The rst purpose is to present important issues in designing fault tolerant systems for autonomous robots. The second, is to present the fault tolerance capabilities we implemented on our autonomous robot. Our approach ischaracterized by a distributed network of concurrently running processes. To tolerate hardware failures, a set of fault tolerance processes are written for each component. These processes are responsible for detecting faults in their respective component, and minimizing the impact of the failure on the robot's performance. By exploiting concurrency and distributedness, the system monitors, detects, and compen-sates for component failures silmultaneously. The capabilities of this system have been tested by physically disabling and enabling the robot's sensors and actuators. The sys-tem quickly recognizes and compensates for both minor and severe sensor and actuator failures. It tolerates a variety of sensor failures such as decalibration, erroneous read-ings, and permanent failures. It also tolerates various combinations of failures such as individual failures, concurrent failures, and accumulative failures. We hope this work will inspire further research in fault tolerant autonomy

Topics: fault tolerance, failure recognition, autonomous robot, distributed control, legged locomotion, adaptive sensing. shortened title, Fault Tolerant Autonomy 2
Year: 1994
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