Ant-Like Robot for Trace-Oriented Covering

A Project in the Mechatronic Lab
Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science Departments
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

Students:
Yoav Gabrieli, Hod Katan and Guy Rogel

Instructors:
Dr. Elon Rimon, Dr. Israel A. Wagner

Mechatronics Lab Advisor:
Dr. Izhak Bucher

Description:

A robot has been built that uses evaporating liquid ("pheromone") trace as a means of navigation
in order to guarantee the coverage of a bounded region on the floor.
At each time step, the robot looks around (using 3 light detectors) on the floor
and goes to the direction which is maximally lighted (that is, minimally colored so far).
We used thinner liquid and a double layer of paper on the floor: white over black,
such that the liquid makes a dark signatures on the floor that becomes lighter
and lighter as the thinner evaporates. Working this way, old traces have
less effect than newer ones.

The robot - top view:
Top view of the robot

The robot - bottom view:

The covering in process. Dark area inside the square is the wet area.

A more complicated "two rooms" situation:

 
 

The robot is based on a discrete model described in the following papers: