DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONAL AREA NETWORK (PAN) FOR

DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONAL AREA NETWORK (PAN) FOR
DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONAL AREA NETWORK (PAN) FOR MOBILE
ROBOT USING BLUETOOTH TRANSCEIVER
CHOO SUI HONG
A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the
requirements for the award of the degree of
Master of Engineering (Electrical)
Faculty of Electrical Engineering
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
DECEMBER 2004
PSZ 19:16 (Pind. 1/97)
UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA
X
BORANG PENGESAHAN STATUS TESIS
JUDUL:
DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONAL AREA NETWORK (PAN)
FOR MOBILE ROBOT USING BLUETOOTH TRANSCEIVER
SESI PENGAJIAN:
Saya
2004 /05
CHOO SUI HONG
(HURUF BESAR)
mengaku membenarkan tesis (PSM/Sarjana/Doktor Falsafah)* ini disimpan di Perpustakaan
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia dengan syarat-syarat kegunaan seperti berikut:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Tesis adalah hakmilik Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
Perpustakaan Universiti Teknologi Malaysia dibenarkan membuat salinan untuk tujuan
pengajian sahaja.
Perpustakaan dibenarkan membuat salinan tesis ini sebagai bahan pertukaran antara
institusi pengajian tinggi.
**Sila tandakan ( )
SULIT
√
TERHAD
(Mengandungi maklumat yang berdarjah keselamatan atau
kepentingan Malaysia seperti yang termaktub di dalam
AKTA RAHSIA RASMI 1972)
(Mengandungi maklumat TERHAD yang telah ditentukan
oleh organisasi/badan di mana penyelidikan dijalankan)
TIDAK TERHAD
Disahkan oleh
__________________________________
_____________________________________
(TANDATANGAN PENULIS)
(TANDATANGAN PENYELIA)
Alamat Tetap:
197, TAMAN SRI AMAN,
BANDAR DARUL AMAN
PROF. DR. SHAMSUDIN H.M. AMIN
Nama Penyelia
06000 JITRA, KEDAH
Tarikh:
CATATAN:
30/12/04
Tarikh:
30/12/04
* Potong yang tidak berkenaan.
** Jika tesis ini SULIT atau TERHAD, sila lampirkan surat daripada pihak
berkuasa/organisasi berkenaan dengan menyatakan sekali sebab dan tempoh tesis ini perlu
dikelaskan sebagai SULIT atau TERHAD.
X Tesis dimaksudkan sebagai tesis bagi Ijazah Doktor Falsafah dan Sarjana secara
penyelidikan, atau disertasi bagi pengajian secara kerja kursus dan penyelidikan, atau
Laporan Projek Sarjana Muda (PSM).
28 December 2004
Librarian
Perpustakaan Sultanah Zanariah
UTM, Skudai
Johor
Sir,
CLASSIFICATION OF THESIS AS RESTRICTED
DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONAL AREA NETWORK (PAN) FOR MOBILE ROBOT
USING BLUETOOTH TRANSCEIVER
CHOO SUI HONG
Please be informed that the above mentioned thesis entitled "DEVELOPMENT OF
PERSONAL AREA NETWORK (PAN) FOR MOBILE ROBOT USING
BLUETOOTH TRANSCEIVER" be classified as RESTRICTED for a period of
three (3) years from the date of this letter. The reasons for this classification are
(i)
To ensure protection of intellectual property, we intend to patent the product.
(ii)
The product is targeted for commercialization.
Thank you.
Sincerely yours,
Prof. Dr. Shamsudin H. M. Amin
Faculty of Electrical Engineering,
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,
81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia.
Tel: +607- 5535319
Note: This letter should be written by the supervisor, addressed to PSZ and a copy
attached to the thesis.
“I hereby declare that I have read this thesis and in my
opinion this thesis is sufficient in terms of scope and quality for the
award of the degree of Master of Electrical Engineering”
Signature
: ....................................................
Name of Supervisor
: Prof. Dr. Shamsudin Hj. Mohd. Amin
Date
: 30/12/04
BAHAGIAN A – Pengesahan Kerjasama
Adalah disahkan bahawa projek penyelidikan tesis ini telah dilaksanakan melalui
kerjasama antara _______________________ dengan _______________________
Disahkan oleh:
Tandatangan : ………………………………
Nama
: ………………………………
Jawatan
: ……………………………….
Tarikh :……………………………
(Cop rasmi)
*Jika penyediaan tesis/projek melibatkan kerjasama.
BAHAGIAN B – Untuk Kegunaan Pejabat Sekolah Pengajian Siswazah
Tesis ini telah diperiksa dan diakui oleh:
Nama dan Alamat Pemeriksa Luar
: Dr. Mohd Rizal B Arshad
Pusat Pengajian Kej. Elektrik & Elektronik
Kampus Kejuruteraan
Universiti Sains Malaysia
14300 Nibong Tebal
Penang
Nama dan Alamat Pemeriksa Dalam : Prof. Madya Dr. Mohamad Noh B Ahmad @
Mohd Sanif
Fakulti Kejuruteraan Elektrik
UTM, Skudai
Nama Penyelia Lain (jika ada)
: …………………………………………
Disahkan oleh Penolong Pendaftar di SPS:
Tandatangan : ……………………………. Tarikh : ………………………………
Nama
: ……………………………
ii
DECLARATION
I declare that the thesis entitled “Development of Personal Area Network (PAN) for
Mobile Robot Using Bluetooth Transceiver” is the result of my own research except
as cited in the references. The thesis has not been accepted for any degree and is not
concurrently submitted in candidature of any other degree.
Signature
: ………………………….
Name
: CHOO SUI HONG
Date
: 30/12/04
iii
DEDICATION
Dedicated to my beloved family, miss Koid Shiau Yen for her support, members of
ROBOCON UTM 2003/04 for their spiritual support.
iv
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude and
appreciation to my supervisor, Prof. Dr. Shamsudin Hj. Mohd. Amin and Assoc.
Prof. Dr. Norsheila bt. Fisal, for their invaluable and critical comment throughout
this project. Their guidance and assistance have given me a strong basis in handling
this project.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my beloved girlfriend, Koid
Shiau Yen for being there all the time when I needed her. Appreciation also extended
to my friends in UTM Robotics Research laboratory for their precious time and
patience in sharing their knowledge, experience and wisdom which led to the
completion of this project. Not forgetting the team members of ROBOCON UTM
2003 and 2004 for their spiritual support and encouragement.
Finally, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the support for this
research, which was provided by Malaysian Ministry of Science, Technology and the
Environment under the Intensification of Research in Priority Areas.
v
ABSTRACT
The work presents the concept of providing a Personal Area Network (PAN)
for microcontroller based mobile robots using Bluetooth transceiver. With the
concept of replacing cable, low cost, low power consumption and communication
range between 10m to 100m, Bluetooth is suitable for communication between
mobile robots since most mobile robots are powered by batteries and have high
mobility. The network aimed to support real-time control of up to two mobile robots
from a master mobile robot through communication using Bluetooth transceiver. If a
fast network radio link is implemented, a whole new world of possibilities is opened
in the research of robotics control and Artificial Intelligence (AI) research works,
sending real time image and information.
Robots could communicate through
obstacles or even through walls. Bluetooth Ad Hoc topology provides a simple
communication between devices in close by forming PAN. A system contained of
both hardware and software is designed to enable the robots to form a PAN and
communicating, sharing information. Three microcontroller based mobile robots are
built for this research work. Bluetooth Protocol Stack and mobile robot control
architecture is implemented on a single microcontroller chip. The PAN enabled a few
mobile robots to communicate with each other to complete a given task. The wireless
communication between mobile robots is reliable based from the result of
experiments carried out. Thus this is a platform for multi mobile robots system and
Ad Hoc networking system. Results from experiments show that microcontroller
based mobile robots can easily form a Bluetooth PAN and communicate with each
other.
vi
ABSTRAK
Kerja ini menunjukkan konsep untuk memberi satu Rangkaian Kawasan
Peribadi (PAN) untuk robot bergerak berasaskan pengawal terbenam dengan
menggunakan pemancar-penerima Bluetooth. Melalui konsep penggantian kabel
antara perkakasan eletronik dengan kos dan penggunaan kuasa yang rendah serta
jarak komunikasi dalam lingkungan 10 m ke 100 m, Bluetooth sesuai untuk media
komunikasi antara robot bergerak kerana kebanyakan robot bergerak menggunakan
bateri dan bermobiliti tinggi. Rangkaian PAN bertujuan menyokong kawalan segera
dari robot ketua kepada dua robot bergerak yang lain menggunakan pemancarpenerima Bluetooth. Jika rangkaian radio yang pantas dapat direalisasikan, ianya
merupakan era baru untuk penyelidikan dalam kawalan dan kecerdikan buatan
robotik iaitu menghantar gambar dan maklumat dengan segera. Ini bermakna robot
boleh berkomunikasi melepasi halangan atau dinding. Topologi Ad Hoc Bluetooth
memberikan
komunikasi
yang
mudah
antara
peralatan
berdekatan
untuk
menghasilkan rangkaian kawasan peribadi. Satu sistem yang merangkumi
perkakasan dan perisian telah direkabentuk dan dibangunkan untuk membolehkan
robot menubuhkan rangkaian kawasan peribadi dan seterusnya berkomunikasi serta
berkongsi maklumat. Tiga robot bergerak berasaskan pengawal terbenam telah
dibina dari peringkat permulaan untuk kerja penyelidikan. Bluetooth Protocol Stack
dan kawalan robot mudah alih dimuatkan dalam satu mikro pengawal tunggal.
Rangkaian kawasan peribadi membolehkan beberapa robot bergerak berkomunikasi
antara satu sama lain untuk menyempurnakan tugas-tugas yang diberikan. Ini
merupakan satu platform untuk sistem robot bergerak pelbagai jenis dan sistem
rangkaian Ad Hoc. Keputusan dari ujikaji menunjukkan bahawa robot bergerak
berasaskan mikro pengawal mampu menghasilkan rangkaian kawasan peribadi
dengan mudah dan boleh berkomunikasi antara satu sama lain.
vii
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1
TITLE
PAGE
DECLARATION
ii
DEDICATION
iii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
iv
ABSTRACT
v
ABSTRAK
vi
CONTENTS
vii
LIST OF TABLES
xii
LIST OF FIGURES
xiii
LIST OF ABREVIATIONS
xv
LIST OF APPENDICES
xviii
INTRODUCTION
1
1.1
Introduction to Mobile Robots and Multi-robot
System
1.2
2
Challenges in Developing Communication for
Multi-robot System
5
1.3
Objectives and Problem Background
7
1.4
Proposed Approach
9
1.5
Outline of the Thesis
9
viii
2
LITERATURE REVIEW
11
2.1
Bluetooth Technology
13
2.2
IEEE 802.11b – WiFi
14
2.3
HIPERLAN
15
2.4
IrDA
16
2.5
HomeRF
17
2.6
RF Module
19
2.7
Related Projects
21
2.7.1
Bluetooth for Mobile Robots (Communication
Units) and Bluetooth Enabled Mobile Robots
2.7.2
Communicating Cooperative Mobile Robot
Using Bluetooth
23
2.7.3
Radio Controlled Robot Car
24
2.7.4
Bluetooth Enabled Wireless Mouse and
Keyboard Interconnectivity
26
2.7.5
The BlueNurse Wireless Link
27
2.7.6
Wireless Communication in Telemedicine
Using Bluetooth and IEEE 802.11b
2.8
2.9
3
21
Discussion
28
29
2.8.1
Discussion on Wireless Technology
30
2.8.2
Discussion on Related Projects
34
Summary
36
BLUETOOTH TECHNOLOGY AND PERSONAL AREA
NETWORK (PAN)
38
3.1
Introduction
38
3.2
Bluetooth Architecture
39
3.2.1
Bluetooth Protocol Stack
40
3.2.2
OSI Layer Stack
44
3.2.3
Host Controller Interface
46
3.2.3.1
Command Packets
47
ix
3.2.3.2
Event Packets
47
3.2.3.3
HCI Data Packets
48
3.2.4
4
Data Communication between Bluetooth Hosts
49
3.3
Bluetooth Personal Area Network
51
3.4
Bluetooth Development Tools
54
3.5
Bluetooth Host Stack
58
3.5.1
C-Stack
59
3.5.2
Ericsson PC Reference Stack
59
3.5.3
Microcontroller Based Bluetooth Host Stack
61
3.6
Discussion
61
3.7
Summary
62
MULTIPLE ROBOTS HARDWARE DESIGN AND
IMPLEMENTATION
63
4.1
Design of BlueBot – Wheeled Mobile Robot
63
4.1.1
Robot Structure
65
4.1.2
Motor and Gearing
66
4.1.3
Robot Steering Methods
70
4.2
PIC18F458 Controller Board
73
4.2.1
PIC18F458 Microcontroller
79
4.2.2
Serial Communication Interface
80
4.2.3
Bootloader
81
4.2.4
Motor Driver Interface
82
4.3
Batteries
83
4.4
Wheels
86
4.5
Infrared Proximity Sensor
89
4.6
Difference between BlueBots
90
4.7
Summary
91
x
5
MULTI ROBOT PAN SOFTWARE ARCHITECTURE
92
5.1
PIC Assembly Language and Microchip MPLAP IDE 93
5.2
Bootloader
96
5.3
Interrupt and Polling Driven Serial Communication
100
5.4
Initialization
103
5.5
Bluetooth HCI Stack
106
5.6
Establishing Connection – Personal Area Network
111
5.6.1
Bluetooth Transceiver Initialization
111
5.6.2
ACL Data (forwarding)
115
5.7
5.8
6
Robot Control Architecture
116
5.7.1
BlueBot’s PAN
116
5.7.2
Encoder Routine
118
5.7.3
Mathematical Functions Routine
121
Summary
EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
6.1
6.3
7
124
6.1.1
Experiment 1 - Movement Synchronization
126
6.1.2
Experiment 2 - Group Navigation with
Obstacle Avoidance
128
Experiment 3 – Bee Behavior
131
Discussions
136
6.2.1
Results from Three Experiments
137
6.2.2
The Advantages and Disadvantages
141
Summary
CONCLUSIONS
7.1
124
Experimental Results
6.1.3
6.2
123
142
143
Bluetooth Technology for Microcontroller Based
Mobile Robot - BlueBot
145
xi
7.2
Contributions of the Work
7.2.1
Embedded Bluetooth Technology on
Microcontroller Based Mobile Robots
7.2.2
147
147
Platform for Multi-robot System Using
Bluetooth and Platform for Bluetooth Ad
Hoc Networking
7.3
REFERENCES
APPENDICES A – F
Future Development
148
149
152
159 - 188
xii
LIST OF TABLES
TABLE NO.
TITLE
PAGE
2.1
Characteristics of each wireless technology
33
4.1
Feature comparison of 8-bit microcontrollers
78
4.2
Physical characteristic of BlueBot
90
5.1
The packet types of ACL link
115
5.2
BlueBot Data Packet Format
116
xiii
LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE NO.
TITLE
PAGE
2.1
Various Transceiver of IrDA
17
2.2
481 MHz Receiver (left) and Transmitter (right)
20
2.3
Bluetooth Radio Base Station
22
2.4
Radio Controlled Robot Car
25
2.5
Architecture overview for Robot Car
25
2.6
Project overview of Bluetooth Enabled Mouse and Keyboard
27
2.7
BlueNurse block diagram illustrating major system components
28
3.1
Bluetooth Protocol Stack
41
3.2
Bluetooth Stack to OSI protocol
45
3.3
Overview of Bluetooth HCI Layer
46
3.4
HCI Command Packet Format
47
3.5
HCI Event Packet Format
48
3.6
HCI ACL Data Packet Format
49
3.7
HCI packet formats
49
3.8
End to End Overview of Lower Software Layers to Transfer Data
50
3.9
Bluetooth Piconet
53
3.10
Bluetooth Application and Training Tool Kit
55
3.11
Stonestreet One development board
56
3.12
Ericsson Bluetooth Starter Kit
56
3.13
Motorola Bluetooth Development Kit
57
3.14
Ericsson Bluetooth Module
58
3.15
Ericsson PC Reference Stack
60
4.1
Design methodology of BlueBot’s hardware
64
4.2
From left, BlueBot 1, BlueBot 2 and BlueBot 3
66
4.3
DC Brushless Motor from Oriental Motor U.S.A. Corp
68
xiv
4.4
Motor driver of AXH Series DC Brushless Motor
69
4.5
Demonstration of Single Wheel Drive
71
4.6
Demonstration of Differential Drive
72
4.7
Tracked Mobile Robot
72
4.8
Basic Stamp 2 module (left) and Basic Stamp 2p module (right)
74
4.9
Handy Board
75
4.10
BlueBot Microcontroller Board
77
4.11
MAX232 Connection between computer and microcontroller
81
4.12
R/C Car Wheels
87
4.13
Rubber Tyred Wheel on BlueBot 1 (right) and BlueBot 2 (left)
88
4.14
R/C Foam Wheel on BlueBot 3
88
4.15
Infrared Proximity Sensor on BlueBot 2 (yellow circle)
89
5.1
Design methodology of BlueBot software implementation
93
5.2
Microchip MPLAB IDE
95
5.3
Overview of bootloader firmware
97
5.4
Program memory re-mapped of PIC18F series microcontroller
97
5.5
Format of bootloader data
98
5.6
Outlook of PIC18F/PIC16F Quick Programmer
99
5.7
Flow chart of Receive Interrupt Service Routine
101
5.8
Flow chart of Transmit Interrupt Service Routine
102
5.9
Modes of Bluetooth link establishment
114
5.10
Plan view of BlueBot
120
6.1
Movement path of BlueBots in Experiment 1
127
6.2
BlueBots formation of Experiment 2
129
6.3
BlueBots movement during and after interrupt
131
6.4
Synchronization of BlueBot motor
134
6.5
Overview of Experiment 3
136
xv
LIST OF ABREVIATIONS
α
-
Angle made by BlueBot
β
-
Angle made by wheel
r
-
Radius of wheel
R
-
Radius of BlueBot
S1
-
Displacement of BlueBot’s perimeter
S2
-
Displacement of wheel perimeter
n
-
Encoder value to make an angle or displacement on BlueBot
N
-
Total encoder value to complete a turn on wheel
ACL
-
Asynchronous Connection Less
AI
-
Artificial Intelligent
AP
-
Access Point
ACL
-
Asynchronous Connection Less
API
-
Application Programming Interfaces
ATM
-
Asynchronous Transfer Mode
CAC
-
Channel Access and Control
CAN
-
Controller Area Network
CMOS
-
Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor
COM
-
Component Object Model
CRC
-
Cyclic Redundancy Check
CSMA/CA
-
Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Avoidance
CTS
-
Clear To Send
DECT
-
Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications
DSP
-
Digital Signal Processing
ECG
-
Electrocardiograph
ETSI
-
European Telecommunications Standards Institute
FHSS
-
Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum
xvi
FSK
-
Frequency Shift Keying
GMSK
-
Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying
HCI
-
Host Controller Interface
HRFWG
-
Home Radio Frequency Working Group
I/O
-
Input/Output
2
IC
-
Inter-Integrated Circuit
IEEE
-
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer
IP
-
Internet Protocol
ISM
-
Industrial Scientific and Medical
ISO
-
International Standards Organization
ISR
-
Interrupt Service Routine
L2CAP
-
Logical Link Control and Adaptation Protocol
LAN
-
Local Area Network
LCD
-
Liquid Crystal Display
LED
-
Light Emitting Diode
LMP
-
Link Manager Protocol
LSB
-
Least Significant Bit
MAC
-
Medium Access Control
MSB
-
Most Significant Bit
MTU
-
Maximum Transmission Unit
OBEX
-
Object Exchange Protocol
OCF
-
Opcode Command Field
OFDM
-
Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing
OGF
-
Opcode Group Field
OS
-
Operating System
OSI
-
Open System Interconnection
PAN
-
Personal Area Network
PC
-
Personal Computer
PDA
-
Personal Digital Assistant
PSTN
-
Public Switch Telephony Network
PWM
-
Pulse Width Modulation
QoS
-
Quality of Services
RAM
-
Random Access Memory
RF
-
Radio Frequency
xvii
RISC
-
Reduced Instruction Set Computer
RTS
-
Ready To Send
SCM
-
Stack Connection Manager
SCO
-
Synchronous Connection Oriented
SDP
-
Service Discovery Protocol
SIG
-
Special Interest Group
SLA
-
Sealed Lead Acid
SNR
-
Signal to Noise Ratio
SPI
-
Serial Peripheral Interface
SWAP
-
Shared Wireless Access Protocol
TCP
-
Transport Control Protocol
TTL
-
Transistor-transistor Logic
TDD
-
Time Division Duplex
TDM
-
Time Division Multiples Method
USART
-
Universal Synchronous Asynchronous Receive Transmit
USB
-
Universal Serial Bus
UTMS
-
Universal Mobile Telecommunication System
WEP
-
Wired Equivalent Protection
YAKS
-
Yet Another Khepera Simulator
xviii
LIST OF APPENDICES
APPENDIX
TITLE
PAGE
A
Bluetooth Application and Training Tool Kit
159
B
71000 Bluetooth Development Kit
162
C
Technical detail of AXH series Oriental DC Brushless Motor
171
D
Schematic Diagram of PIC18F458 Microcontroller Board
180
E
Infrared Proximity Sensor data sheet
182
F
“MPLAB Quick Start” manual, PIC 16F/18F Bootloader,
BlueBot’s Source Code and Video Clips for Experiments
187
CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Since the past decades, robotics has been a fast growing field of research.
Humanoid with Artificial Intelligence (AI) that will dominate the human race in the
future has been created in the imagination of human beings.
From the movie
“MATRIX” and “TERMINATOR” which based on robots, the world in future has
been depicted to be conquered by machines and robots.
Additional, robot
competition such as “Robot Soccer”- International, “ABU Robocon”- Asia Pasific,
“RoboSumo”- Japan, “Robofest”- Malaysia, are being held all around the world
which clearly shows the interest in robotics area. While all these events may appear
to be fun and games, the goal are still serious, to advance the state of robotics. For
example, Robot Soccer has contributed a lot of research and development in the area
of multi-robot system, communication, image processing and simulation.
There are a lot of different objectives in robotics researches. For an instance,
Robot Soccer aims to produce a team of robots that can play soccer with world cup
team in real football field by year 2050. Honda ASIMO aims to produce a fully
autonomous humanoid robot that can assist humans in day life work. Others aimed
to develop robots for industrial usage. Although the development of robotics is still
new, the applications of robots are very wide. These included the usage of robot in
gaining access to dangerous environments such as cleanup of hazardous waste sites,
inspection of nuclear power stations, and deep sea and planetary exploration. Robots
can also assist humans in the automation of routine tasks, such as vacuum cleaning,
task delivery, tour guides and so on.
2
Although robots have shown their compatibility and effectiveness in
industrial applications and daily activities, a multi-robot system operating in our
everyday environment would be a rare sight. With the motivation to build such a
system, this work investigates the issues involved in the design of communication for
microcontroller based autonomous mobile robot using Bluetooth transceiver. There
are a few ways of connecting a group of mobile robots together wirelessly. The
easiest ways to achieve multi microcontroller based mobile robot communication is
by using RF module, which is cheap and easy to be used. However, it offer low
security and low bit rate communication. Another method is to provide Bluetooth or
other wireless technology for a group of computer based mobile robots where these
wireless technologies require high processing speed and large program memory for
Operating System (OS) and communication protocol. To build a group of fully
functional mobile robots from scratch is a challenging work. Furthermore, to embed
protocol stack for Bluetooth communication and robot control program on single
chip microcontroller is the other main challenge to be overcome.
The research presented here focuses on two main problems. They are:
1. The ability of microcontroller based mobile robot to interface with
Bluetooth transceiver and form its PAN automatically without the
help of computer based system.
2. The ability of a microcontroller based mobile robot to maintain the
Bluetooth communication while completing its own control
commands.
Discussion on the suitability of Bluetooth technology for mobile robot is
included by comparing the power consumption, size and communication range
among a few other wireless technologies.
1.1
Introduction to Mobile Robots and Multi-robot System
Mobile Robots has been defined as a class of robots that have the capability
to transport themselves in three dimensional spaces (Tan, 2002). Mobile robot may
3
be in the factories carrying raw materials, or final products for long distances, or in
the farms, where mobile robots can be used in planting and placing the seeds in soil,
irrigation, or in the reaping. The mobile robots may be also used in houses as
cleaning machines, surveillance, security and cooperative task. Though these tasks
are not so important like a life saving machines, they are useful to save the time,
reduce the cost, or to achieve better results (Abd Alsalam Sheikh, 2000).
Most of robot applications involve independent work such as navigation,
vacuum cleaner, industry automation and competition. But, if two heads are better
than one, then four arms are probably more useful than two. Actually, networked
robots can accomplish more than they could achieve individually by sharing sensor
readings and computing power, by coordinating their actions (Akash et al., 2003).
Nature presents us with numerous examples of highly efficient, adaptive, and faulttolerant distributed multi-agent systems in which individuals (insects, animals,
human, cultures, nations) because they can successfully cope with incomplete and
noisy information (state and knowledge), nondeterministic environments, delayed
feedback in response to actions, collaborators, opponents, and competition for
recourses (Maja,1998). For example, ant has little capability, but when many of
them are working together, they can do incredible tasks (Mohd Ridzuan, 2003).
Similarly, if several robots can work together, the task can be completed more
efficiently. Multi-agent systems are desirable for many reasons. Many cheap robots
working together could replace a single expensive robot, making multi-agent more
cost effective. In fact, Robot Soccer has proven the capabilities of a number of
cooperative robots in competition with an opponent team in dynamically changing
environment and showed an interesting development. Although multi-robot system
seems to have the interest of researchers nowadays, developing the system is a
challenging work.
Single robot development may encounter many similar
challenges, i.e:
•
Robot sensors provide noisy and incomplete information.
•
Effectors slip.
•
Communication is typically low band-width.
•
Resources (time, battery power) are limited.
4
Multi-robot system has to face greater challenges compared to single robot
system. Furthermore the performance in such a system depends significantly on
issues that arise from the interactions between robots. These interactions complicate
the development of this system since they are not obvious in the hardware or
software design but only emerge in an operating group. It is difficult or even
impossible to model the group behaviors and design centralized controllers in a topdown manner for robot teams in unknown or dynamic environment. For instance,
cooperation and interference between robots are not considerations for a single robot
system since the system do not involve cooperation between robots. However,
cooperation and interference between robots are crucial in multi-robot system.
There have been a lot of interests in cooperative robotics in the last few years,
triggered mainly by the technological advances in control techniques for single
vehicles and the explosion in computation and communication capabilities. The
research in the field of control and coordination for multi-robots is currently
progressing in areas like automated highway systems, formation flight control,
unmanned underwater vehicles, satellite clustering, exploration, surveillance, search
and rescue, mapping of unknown or partially known environments, distributed
manipulation and transportation of large objects (Calin, 2003). Although there are a
lot of researches going on in cooperative autonomous mobile robotics, it is still new
that no topic area within this domain can be considered mature. Some areas have
been explored more extensively, however, and the community is beginning to
understand how to develop and control certain aspects of multi-robot team (Tamio et
al., 2002).
As proposed in the work by Tamio et al. (2002), the area of research for
multi-robot system could be organized into seven principles. The seven principle
areas of multi-robot system which have been identified are:
1. Biological Inspirations
2. Communication
3. Architecture, task allocation, and control
4. Localization, mapping, and exploration
5. Object transport and manipulation
5
6. Motion coordination
7. Reconfigurable robot
As stated above, one of the main topics is the communication among robots.
Multi-robot system required communication between each other to share sensors
reading, decision making and action distribution. Wireless robots can interact as a
cooperative team or as a competitive team (for example, legged soccer player robots)
with varying degrees of control. Communication between robots may take place
directly via explicit communication facility such as radio link or indirect (pseudo
communication method) through one robot sensing a change in other robots or it
environment. Explicit communication is defined as a specific act designed solely to
convey information to other robots on the team.
1.2
Challenges in Developing Communication for Multi-robot System
During the last few decades, major research efforts were focused on
improving the performance of many mobile robots by using advanced sensors,
actuators, and intelligent control algorithm. But very few people have ventured into
the field of communication between robots. Communication plays an important role
to provide the path for robots to share information, computing power and planning
among robots in the system.
The review work by Tucker and Ronald (1995),
described that there is work reported that task achieving behavior can still be
successful even in the absence of communication between robots. On the contrary,
there is also report on 50% of improvement in robots performance for target
acquisition using infra-red signal for communication.
Others have studied the
evolution of communication between robots and shown that robots with
communication were 84% fitter than those which communication was suppressed.
Several researchers have studied the effect of communication on the performance of
multi-robot system in a variety of tasks, and have concluded that communication
provides certain benefit for particular types of task.
6
Practically, it is very difficult to develop a perfect communication scheme for
multi-robot system. Works have been carried out to provide fault tolerance in multirobot communication, such as setting up and maintaining distributed communication
networks, and ensuring reliability in multi-robot communications.
Experimental
results on how the communication bottleneck affects the overall performance of the
system have been reported by Paul et al. (2002). Thus, effective communication
between robots helps to improve the performance of multi-robot system.
As discussed in section 1.1, multi-robot system requires information sharing
among each other and communication provides the path for it.
Furthermore,
implementation of multi-robot platform amplifies the difficulty and challenges to
develop communication for multi-robot system. The criteria for the communication
system which need to be considered include not only the physical hardware for
communication, but also protocol to handle connection (connection oriented or
connection less), protocol to handle data, and protocol to handle the network.
Considerations such as power consumption, bandwidth, networking possibility and
communication range must also be taken. The size of the transceiver (physical or
hardware) must be small to be easily fitted on robot.
Power consumption of
transceiver must be low because most autonomous mobile robot is powered by
batteries. When dealing with microcontroller based mobile robots, the interfacing
and communication protocol must be as simple as possible.
Because most
microcontrollers support communication such as Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C),
Universal Synchronous Asynchronous Receive Transmit (USART) and Serial
Peripheral Interface (SPI), microcontrollers seldom support communication through
Universal Serial Bus (USB). In terms of communication protocol, microcontrollers
come in 4 – 40 MHz clock and have limited memory for program and data storage.
Thus the communication protocol must be as simple as possible to reduce
communication error between host and transceiver.
Furthermore, with small
protocol stack, there will be more memory space left for robot control architecture.
All these factors increased the challenges in developing the communication for
multi-robot system.
7
1.3
Objectives and Problem Background
As mentioned in section 1.1 and section 1.2, communication in multi-robot
system do improve overall performance of the system. For multiple mobile robots,
wired communication such as cable, serial com port and parallel port will not be
suitable. These cables will disturb the mobility, sensor reading and increase the
complexity of the setting of the system. Furthermore, the base station has to provide
as many ports as the number of robots if a group of robots were involved. Thus
wired communication is obviously not suitable for multi-robot system.
There are various types of wireless technologies available in the market
which could provide the wireless communication. These technologies include
HomeRF, IEEE 802.11b Wireless LAN - WiFi, IrDA, HyperLAN and Bluetooth.
Review on these technologies will be discussed in Chapter 2. Bluetooth wireless
technology has been chosen to provide the communication among robots. Bluetooth
is a low cost, low power, short range (10-100 m) and small size wireless technology.
With security and networking possibilities provided by Bluetooth technology, many
investigations have been carried out to implement Bluetooth transceiver on mobile
robots for research and development in multi-robot system and Ad Hoc networking
study. Integration of Bluetooth is not limited on mobile robots as many cell phone
and video camera manufacturers have also enhanced their product with the Bluetooth
technology. Among the works that have been done in communication for multirobot system, Bluetooth communication protocol was handled by a computer or
computer based controller (Henrik et al., 2001). In other words, the protocol and
networking maintenance was handled by a host computer. In this work, the ability of
a microcontroller based mobile robot to manage the protocol and provides Bluetooth
wireless communication has been investigated.
Compared to computer based
system, microcontroller system provides cheaper, easier installation and smaller size
of system.
Therefore, most multi-robot systems are microcontroller based.
Furthermore, more and more products in market and development tools are equipped
with microcontroller. Microcontroller vendors such as ATMEL, Microchip, Toshiba,
Motorola, Texas Instrument and Intel are pushing hard to develop and enhance
current microcontroller with higher processing speed, more memory space, and
special features on a single chip computer. Developments have been greatly carried
8
out to enhance microcontroller based system with Operating System (Handy Board,
RoBIOS), vision process capability and AI control architecture (Thomas, 2003). The
microcontroller based system has been developed to compete with computer based
system in a specific area. The work presented herein is to embed the Bluetooth
technology on microcontroller based multi-robot system without any help of
computer based system to provide basic PAN. The robots can communicate with
each other in the PAN.
The objectives of this work are:
•
To develop a controller (single chip microcontroller) that is capable of
interfacing with Bluetooth transceiver and control mobile robot.
•
To design and build three autonomous mobile robots which can
establish PAN automatically via Bluetooth transceiver for wireless
communication (hardware and software).
•
To setup a point to multipoint Bluetooth network with a purely
microcontroller-based system.
The work presented embedded wireless communication on mobile robot, this
involve two research area which are robotics and telecommunication; therefore the
scopes of the research area are defined. The scopes of this work include:
•
The robots built are equipped with encoder feedback and infrared
proximity sensor.
•
Furthermore, the network only support three nodes where these are
the minimum nodes required to setup a point to multipoint network.
•
Embedding Bluetooth lowest protocol layer - HCI layer on single chip
microcontroller where HCI is sufficient for mobile robot wireless
communication.
•
The group of three mobile robot could established the PAN
automatically and communicate to achieve group’s objective.
•
Research and study on PAN using Bluetooth technology for mobile
robot.
9
1.4
Proposed Approach
At least 2 nodes are required to prove that communication exists. Therefore,
to show the communication between mobile robots, at least 2 mobile robots should
be used. While 2 nodes are enough to show a point to point connection, 3 nodes are
essential to show a point to multipoint link.
Three mobile robots are built to
investigate the capability of microcontroller based mobile robot to be the master of
Bluetooth network which is responsible to manage the network, including forwarding
data from one slave to another slave since there is no direct communication between
slave nodes. In the proposed system, the master node is provided with extra tasks to
be performed. Bluetooth network is a star topology network, where there will be no
direct communications between slaves. There must be a master that is responsible
for all data traffic in the network. From the hardware point of view, a controller that
provides platform to implement robot control algorithm and Bluetooth protocol stack
must be prepared. PIC18F458, a model of microcontroller from Microchip Inc. has
been chosen to provide the platform mentioned. This microcontroller has 32 KB of
program memory which is more than enough to implement both the robot control and
Bluetooth stack on a single chip. The software implementation was done step by
step, from the basic communication and control to higher layer of protocol stack and
algorithm.
Assembly language of PIC18F was used to develop the software.
Although all robots are different in terms of size, wheels, motor gear ratio, weight
and even Bluetooth transceiver, this work tried to make sure they can communicate
which each other and cooperate to carry out collaborative tasks. Experiments were
carried out to prove that microcontroller based mobile robots are able to form its own
Bluetooth PAN and communicate with each other to achieve group’s objective.
1.5
Outline of the Thesis
The preceding sections briefly summarized the introduction and objectives of
the research work. This section presents the outlines of the thesis. The remainder of
the thesis is organized into six main chapters. Chapter 2 discusses literature review
on wireless technology and some related works.
Various kinds of wireless
10
technology are discussed and investigated from the point of microcontroller based
mobile robot. Contributions from other works are also presented here. The details of
Bluetooth technology and Personal Area Network (PAN) are discussed in Chapter 3.
Bluetooth Protocol and Bluetooth Development kits are also discussed in detail in
this chapter. The design and implementation of Bluetooth Enabled Mobile Robot –
BlueBot will be discussed in Chapter 4. This will included the design concept
behind building BlueBot and PIC microcontroller board. Chapter 5 is about the
software architecture of BlueBot. This chapter discuss the details of the software on
PIC18F458 chip which included the Bluetooth protocol stack – Host Controller
Interface (HCI), communication protocol between robots, bootloader and robot
control architecture.
Chapter 6 covers the experimental results and discussion.
Finally, the conclusion is presented in Chapter 7. This comprises the contributions of
the work presented and recommendations for future development.
Designing and providing a real platform for multi-robot system is a very
challenging work.
The process must consider hardware and software design.
Communication between robots must be as robust as possible to provide easy setup
and reliable data sharing. Bluetooth provides a low cost, low power, short range and
networking communication. This technology is suitable for mobile robot which is
powered by batteries and small in size. The work presented is to implement the
whole system in microcontroller based mobile robot, executing robot control
architecture
management.
while
maintaining
the
communication
protocol
and
network
Three mobile robots were built and fully equipped with infrared
proximity sensor, motors, wheels, batteries and a microcontroller board. Software
architecture also been developed and implemented on the BlueBot to show that
microcontroller based mobile robots can form its own PAN and perform cooperative
tasks. A few experiments have been carried out to show the suitability of Bluetooth
technology in communication for multi-robot system.
CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW
Wireless connectivity is the new buzz word not only in computers networks,
but also communication between portable devices. It involves connecting laptops,
mobile libraries and even fridges to computer networks, without physical wire
connections. Wireless connectivity means that individuals can potentially access the
Internet, CD-ROM networks, office networks and information between electronics
devices from anywhere and at any time. A wireless network connects computers to
computer networks but without the need for physical wire connections. A wireless
network can provide network access to computers, databases and the Internet, both
within and between buildings. All wireless technologies use standard technology
saddled over a wireless medium - airwaves. The major advantage of this type of
technology is that there is no cable between network access points. The limiting
factor of wireless networking is the distance versus bandwidth issue, because the
further the computer is from the access point the slower the speed of data rate
transfer (megabits per second). Although wireless connection has the possibility of
11 Mbps, this can be as low as 1 Mbps as the distance increases. However, although
1 Mbps would be very slow for an Ethernet network connection, it is still almost 30
times faster than a 56 Kbps modem.
The nature of wireless networking
communication is inherently subject to various environment and situational factors
which are able to greatly improve or impede its relative performance at any given
moment. Signal interference, geographic location, and even atmospheric conditions
such as relative humidity and barometric pressure can dramatically alter the
12
performance of any wireless transmission (CyberScience Laboratory, 2003). There
are 3 main types of wireless networks:
1. Wireless Wide Area Networks (WWANs)
A Wide Area Network is a computer network that spans a relatively large
geographical area.
WANs typically allow multi-site organizations like
universities to connect to the same network which can have a range of up to
38 kilometers and are already being used across campuses and towns in the
USA. They can be much cheaper than a traditional network, more flexible
and easier to install (Deborah and Stuart, 2003).
2. Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs)
A Local Area Network allows computers at one geographical location to
share information and devices such as printers. With a traditional LAN each
computer physically connects to the network via wires and a network port. A
WLAN typically uses radio waves which allow network PC cards plugged
into a PC/laptop to connect to a traditional Ethernet LAN. WLANs can
usually support data rates of 11 Mbps (megabits per second), and have a
range of 30-300 meters, with signals being able to pass through walls
(Deborah and Stuart, 2003).
3. Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs)
A PAN is a Personal Area Network.
This is a network which allows
electronic devices within a few meters of each other to communicate and
synchronize information. The leading force in WPANs is Bluetooth, a shortrange radio technology which simplifies communication between different
devices. It is based on the idea that a single chip fitted into electronic devices
and buildings allows communication between them without wires.
As a summary for the wireless technologies, WWAN and WLAN will not be
appropriate for multi-robot system because the system do not required such high bit
rate and wide range of communication. Furthermore, Wireless WAN and LAN
required much complicated system (Operating System, high speed processor, higher
protocol layer and higher power consumption) and more expensive hardware.
13
Wireless PAN is the solution for the multi-robot system given that it provides low
power consumption and communication range (10 to 100 meters) which is sufficient
for the system. As cited above, there are plenty of wireless technologies that are
available in the market.
technologies.
Literature review has been done to classify those
The coming section will discuss some of the popular wireless
technologies.
2.1
Bluetooth Technology
The Bluetooth specification defines a short (10 meter) or optionally a medium
range (100 meter) radio link, capable of voice or data transmission to a maximum
capacity of 720 Kbps (gross throughput of 1Mbps). The technology was mainly
aimed to replace cables (Ericsson, 2000).
The radio frequency operates in the
Industrial Science Medical (ISM) band at 2.4 to 2.48 GHz, using FHSS (Frequency
Hopping Spread Spectrum), full-duplex signal up to 1600 hops per second. The
signal hops among 79 frequencies at 1 MHz intervals to give a high degree of
interference immunity from external influences. This is crucial due to the number of
electronic products sharing this frequency range. RF output is specified as 0 dBm (1
mW) in the 10 meters range version and -30 to +20 dBm (100 mW) in the longer
range version. When this radio specification was produced, high emphasis was put
on making a design enabling single-chip and thereby reducing cost, power
consumption and the chip size required for implementation in mobile devices
(Bluetooth SIG, 1999).
Bluetooth was quite a new technology for last few years, and now it is
currently being evaluated for many future applications.
Generally, Bluetooth
transceiver has 10 meters range, but the ranges of new Bluetooth product have been
extended to100 meters. Bluetooth devices can form a PAN with one master and up
to 7 active slaves; this network can be extended to bigger network called scatternet.
Details of Bluetooth technology, including Bluetooth Protocol, hardware,
development tools and host stack is discussed in Chapter 3.
14
2.2
IEEE 802.11b – WiFi
WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) is not a new technology, but it is only recently that it
has become mainstream. The advent of portable computing devices is one of the
main drivers for the adoption of wireless networking. Today, more than 50% of new
laptops come wireless enabled out of the box. All of Apple's latest line of laptops
come with both WiFi and Bluetooth built in. A powerful alliance of vendors joined
together in 1999 to form the WiFi Alliance. The term WiFi has become corrupted in
common usage to mean wireless networks in general, actually WiFi is a variant of
the Ethernet standard, adapted for wireless use, known as IEEE 802.11.
IEEE 802.11 started with the basic standard such as frequency range of 2.4
GHz, transfer rate of 1 Mbps and 2 Mbps and Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum or
Frequency Hoop Spead Spectrum as mechanism. However the slow bit rate spawned
for the creation of the 802.11a and 802.11b working group to study higher bit rate
protocol standard.
In 1999, IEEE anounced their successful adoptation and
amendment of the 802.11b wireless network standard. Enhancements include a
greatly increased transfer rate of 5.5 to 11 Mbps and improved range. But the more
realistic transfer “throughput” of WiFi is typically in the neighborhood of 4 to 5
Mbps (CyberScience Laboratory, 2003). WiFi allows user’s business to deploy a
network more quickly, at lower cost, and with greater flexibility than a wired system.
To enable this technology, wireless cards are needed. Wireless card can operate in
two modes, Infrastructure and Ad Hoc. Most business systems use wireless in
Infrastructure mode. This means that devices communicate with an access point.
Typically the access point also has a connection to the company wired network,
allowing users access to servers and files as if they were physically attached to the
LAN. Ad Hoc connections are direct connections between wireless cards. This type
of connection is more common amongst home users, but if used by business users
could have serious management and security implications. User can easily connect
to a WiFi network anywhere within range of an access point. But unfortunately,
organizations who use 802.11b may find themselves quickly running out of
bandwidth if any single access point must cater to more than 4 users at a time. With
a typical averange throughput of 4 to 5 Mbps, 4 users would have relatively narrow
margin of available bandwidth. Transfer rates such as these may not be much of a
15
problem for a family connection used predominately for web-surfing. However, a
small office with large files to move between machines may discover a very serious
bottleneck. There is another new wireless protocol rising, IEEE 802.11a. Compared
to the original 802.11 standard, 802.11a represents a rather dramatic technologies
shift into new territory. Not only it is fundamentally different regarding its use of the
physical layer (5.8 GHz), but also in its use of Orthogonal Frequency Division
Multiplexing (OFDM) as a transfer rate. Typical users can expect an effective
transfer rate of 20 – 36 Mbps (CyberScience Laboratory, 2003).
2.3
HIPERLAN
HIPERLAN is a WLAN standard. It is a European alternative for the IEEE
802.11 standards. It is defined by the European Telecommunications Standards
Institute (ETSI). In ETSI the standards are defined by the Broadband Radio Access
Networks (BRAN) project. HIPERLAN standard family comprises of:
•
HIPERLAN/1
•
HIPERLAN/2
HIPERLAN/1, HIgh PErformance Radio LAN version 1 is an ETSI
standard. The planning started 1991, when planning of 802.11 was already going on.
The goal of the HiperLAN was the high data rate, higher than 802.11. The standard
was approved in 1996. The standard covers the physical and the Medium Access
Control (MAC) part of the Data Link layers like 802.11. There is a new sublayer
called Channel Access and Control sublayer (CAC). This sublayer deals with the
access requests to the channels. The accomplishing of the request is dependent on
the usage of the channel and the priority of the request.
MAC layer defines protocols for routing, security and power saving and
provides naturally data transfer to the upper layers. On the physical layer, Frequency
Shift Keying (FSK) and Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying (GMSK) modulations are
used in HiperLAN/1. HiperLAN/1 provides communication at up to 20 Mbps in the
5 GHz range of Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum.
16
HiperLAN/2 functional specification was accomplished February 2000.
Version 2 is designed as a fast wireless connection for many kinds of networks.
Those are Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) back bone
network, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and Internet Protocol (IP) networks.
Also it works as a network at home like HiperLAN/1. HiperLAN/2 uses the 5 GHz
band and up to 54 Mbit/s data rate. Basic services are data, sound and video
transmission. The emphasis is in the quality of these services (QoS) (Markus and
Vasco, 1999). HiperLAN/2 is compatible with 3G (third generation) WLAN systems
for sending and receiving data, images, and voice communication.
2.4
IrDA
IrDA is a standard defined by the IrDA consortium (Infrared Data
Association). It specifies a way to wirelessly transfer data via infrared radiation.
The IrDA specifications include standards for both the physical devices and the
protocols they use to communicate with each other. In general, IrDA is used to
provide wireless connectivity technologies for devices that would normally used
cable. It is a point to point, narrow angle (30 degree maximum cone), Ad Hoc data
transmission standard designed to operate over a distance of 0 to 1 meter and at
speeds of 9.6 Kbps to 16 Mbps (Dave, 2000). Primary use for IrDA is to link
notebooks or various personal communicators; however, even video cameras are
sometimes equipped with an IrDA interface.
IrDA devices communicate using
infrared LED's. Wavelength used is 875 nm with production tolerance around 30
nm. There is a direct relationship between the energy of the incoming radiation, and
the charge that the optics part of the receiver generates. IrDA devices conforming to
standards IrDA 1.0 and 1.1 work over distances up to 1.0 meter with BER (Bit Error
Ratio - number of incorrectly transferred bits over number of correctly transferred
bits) of 10-9 and maximum level of surrounding illumination of 10 klux (daylight).
Values are defined for a 15 degree deflection (off-alignment) of the receiver and the
transmitter; output power for individual optical components is measured at up to 30
degrees. Directional transmitters (IR LEDs) for higher distances exist; however, they
17
do not comply with the required 30 degree radiation angle. Figure 2.1 shows various
IrDA transceivers.
Figure 2.1: Various Transceiver of IrDA (Choo, 2001)
The receiver needs a way to distinguish between the surrounding
illumination, noise, and received signal. For this purpose, it is useful to use the
highest possible output power where higher power will result higher current in the
receiver and finally better signal-to-noise ratio.
However, IR-LEDs could not
transmit at full power continuously over 100% of time. So, a pulse width of only
3/16 or 1/4 (mark-to-space ratio) of the total time for one bit is used. Now, the
power can be up to 4 or 5 times the possible maximum power for LEDs shining
continuously. In addition, the transmission path does not carry the dc component
(since the receiver continuously adapts itself to the surrounding illumination, and
detects changes only), thus it is necessary to use pulse modulation. Integrated IrDA
transceivers do have filters that eliminate noise other than the IrDA frequency range
2400 to115200 bps and 0.576 to 4 Mbps (2 M flashes/s).
2.5
HomeRF
Two factors have emerged to give data networking within the home, a real
opportunity to succeed.
18
•
The explosive growth and usage of the Internet is a primary factor. The
Internet offers us an opportunity to revolutionize the delivery of information
and entertainment into the home.
•
The widespread emergence of cheaper home Personal Computers (PCs) is
also a huge factor in increased Internet and PC usage.
It has already become noticeable to consumers that some key attributes are
lacking in the PC/Internet combination. Unlike radios, CD players, newspapers and
magazines, home PCs, printers and general computer peripherals can only be reached
within a 3 foot diameter. This shortcoming offers a huge opportunity for home
networking, thereby extending the reach of the PC. Integrating the Internet, PC and
printer with telephony, audio and home control systems would also be hugely
beneficial for homes in the future. Activating other home electronic systems by
voice as well as the sharing of a high quality printer in multi PC homes are also
emerging as important needs.
In the future, the required bandwidth for home
networking will increase, for example, printing will required up to 100 – 1000 Kbps,
playing MPEG video will consume bandwidth up to 10,000 Kbps and etc.
With
these issues in mind, a number of large home PC stakeholders formed the Home
Radio Frequency Working Group (HRFWG). This combination of stakeholders
created the Shared Wireless Access Protocol (SWAP) in 1998. SWAP uses major
sections of proven protocols, simplifying them where appropriate for home usage.
The SWAP system can operate either as an Ad Hoc peer to peer network that
provides traditional data networking or as a managed network under the control of a
connection point. A SWAP network can consist of three types of devices; control
point, isochronous voice devices and asynchronous data devices.
Using a
contention-based protocol the connection point can perform data transfers to and
from other data devices. The SWAP protocol is a client server between the control
point and the voice devices but is peer to peer between the control point and data
devices. HomeRF uses references and maps existing network layers. However,
HomeRF has modified the existing technologies for the Physical (PHY) and Data
Link (MAC) layers.
19
MAC is optimized for the home environment and is designed to carry both
voice and data traffic and to inter-operate with the Public Switch Telephony Network
(PSTN) using a subset of Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT).
A Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) service is used to support the delivery of
isochronous data and a Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Avoidance
(CSMA/CA) service (derived from Wireless LAN standard IEEE802.11) is provided
to support the delivery of asynchronous data.
The SWAP MAC provides the
following features:
•
Good support for voice and data by using both TDMA and CSMA/CA access
mechanisms.
•
Support for 4 high quality voice connections.
•
High data throughput 1.6 Mbps.
•
Data security.
•
Power management for Isochronous and Asynchronous nodes.
•
24 bit Network ID.
•
Transmission power of 100 mW.
The PHY specification for SWAP was largely adopted from IEEE 802.11. It
has been modified significantly to reduce cost, allow a single chip implementation
while still maintaining more than adequate performance for home usage scenarios.
Some key SWAP PHY layer specifications include:
2.6
•
Transmit power up to +24 dBm
•
Receiver Sensitivity in 2 FSK
•
Optional low power transmit mode: 0 to 4 dBm for portable devices.
RF Module
Radio Frequency (RF) module (Figure 2.2) transmits and receives data in
various frequency ranges, from 315MHz, 418MHz, 916MHz and even 2.4 GHz. The
low end RF modules run at 2400 Kbps while high end devices work at rates up to
100 Kbps. With RF module, the data communication is half duplex, which means
communication can only go one direction at a time. Each node is not allowed to
20
"talk" whenever it pleases because if this scenario occurs, some transmissions may
get lost. The best arrangement is to declare one device to be the "master" and have it
control the flow of data. This would be the situation where a master poll slaves for
data – the master sends a request, the slave responds with information.
Figure 2.2: 418 MHz Receiver (left) and Transmitter (right) (Laipac Technology
Inc., 2003)
Each node will require a transmitter and a receiver module with same
frequency in order to communicate. Radio communication is a much less secure
means of data transmission than wire. Radio receivers go to great length to filter out
an endless stream of interference to pick out the desired signal. Even then, much
signal gets through and the packet controller must filter out the incorrect characters
received. Before both nodes can start communicating, synchronization between
transmitter and receiver must be done. If the transmitter shuts off (as it must for two
way communication), synchronization is lost. The transmitter must send several
sync characters before the radio can reliably receive data. If the transmitting signal
drops off momentarily sync is lost and the data packet is lost.
In order to satisfy the applications need for continuous data, the data must be
"packetized", that is grouped into a packet with a preamble, data and checksum. As a
result data can not be sent continuously, although there are radio modems available
that make this process relatively invisible to the user.
21
2.7
Related Projects
There are research works on Bluetooth implementation on mobile robot. A
few related projects will be discussed. These included projects done by postgraduate
students from various universities around the world. The concept and objectives of
each project will be discussed. Furthermore, discussion on limitation of each project
is presented at the end of each section.
2.7.1
Bluetooth for Mobile Robots (Communication Units) and Bluetooth
Enabled Mobile Robots
These were cooperative work by two master students form University of
Skovde, Sweden (Karvosenoja, 2002) and De Montfort University, UK (Eriksson,
2002) in year 2002.
The work is divided into two parts; one part is the
communication between Personal Computer (PC) and Bluetooth transceiver, while
another main work is the interfacing between Khepera robot with Bluetooth
transceiver.
The first part of the work, Bluetooth for Mobile Robots
(Communication Units) by Andreas Eriksson (2002) concentrated on designing the
Bluetooth Radio Base Station for Khepera mobile robots. While the second part of
the work, Bluetooth Enabled Mobile Robots by Kari Karvosenoja (2002) aimed to
implement the software to communication Bluetooth Radio Base Station with host
computer. Designing and implementation of Bluetooth Radio Base Station was
successful and provide good references and literature material. Figure 2.3 shows the
Bluetooth Radio Base Station. The main objective of this work is to replace the
infrared network with Bluetooth wireless network.
Although both works successfully connect Khepera robot and steer the robot
therefore prove that bidirectional communication and real time control through
Bluetooth wireless communication, it faced difficulty when trying to communicate
with multi-robot. Though the computer host could successfully establish connection
with four Khepera robots and each connection was identified with a unique
connection handler, data communication was not successful because the host can
22
only send data to latest connected Khepera robot. The host computer used C-Stack
which is a software developed by a group of engineers from Ireland. The group has
produced a Bluetooth host stack, which is distributed freely on the Internet at
www.cstack.com. The detail of C-Stack will be discussed in Chapter 3. Referring to
the work by Eriksson (2002), the C-Stack automatically replaces the connection
handler with the handler for the latest connection established. In other words, the
only channel to communicate over was the latest one established. The C-Stack was
the part that restricted the success of the project. Further effort was put in porting the
C-Stack to YAKS (a simulator and controlling software for Khepera robots called
“Yet Another Khepera Simulator”), which was a requirement in the original system
set-up. The C-Stack could not be used together with YAKS due to the Microsoft
Automation-object used to communicate with the stack, which was not supported by
YAKS.
A more adequate explanation of how the C-Stack was ported to YAKS is
presented by Karvosenoja (2002). The C-Stack has been pointed out as the failing
part of the system designed several times.
Figure 2.3: Bluetooth Radio Base Station (Eriksson, 2002)
Although both of the cooperative work discussed and current developed work
have similarities in that they developed Bluetooth communication where
microcontroller is used as Bluetooth host, there are huge differences between these
two works. The differences are categorized as follows:
23
1. The cooperative work between both the students developed the Bluetooth
Radio Base Station with microcontroller which specifically programmed to
handle Bluetooth HCI stack and transmit the real data to controller on Khepera
robot. Thus there are two microcontrollers working on each Khepera robot.
One microcontroller is for the radio base station to handle HCI protocol stack
and translate the Bluetooth ACL data to Khepera robot data format, while
another microcontroller is responsible for controlling Khepera robot.
2. The work by Eriksson (2002) shows that the master node of Bluetooth piconet
(network of four Khepera robots) is a computer host, therefore the designer do
not need to take care of the processing speed and program memory space.
Meanwhile, the master of BlueBot’s piconet still remain a microcontroller chip
in current developed work, thus firmware must be optimized to cope the
processing speed and program memory available.
3. Referring to the same work, the language used to develop the software on
computer host master was high level language - Visual C++. Furthermore, the
Bluetooth host stack was provided with Active-X from C-Stack, the
programmer can easily call component from Active-X to handle HCI protocol.
2.7.2
Communicating Cooperative Mobile Robot Using Bluetooth
Work by Henrik et al. (2001) was presented by researchers from Department
of Control Engineering, Aalborg University, Denmark. The focus of their work is to
develop a reliable wireless communication between computer based mobile robots
using Bluetooth. The work can be used for study of Ad Hoc networking and research
platform for cooperative mobile robots. Their work proposed two techniques for
networking structuring, included Positional Approach and Non Positional Approach.
The work presented more toward higher layer communication protocol, such as
networking, Quality of Services (QoS), Channel Scheduling and Packet Routing. A
larger network of Bluetooth, Scatternet has also been developed on static robots. The
network can link seven robots where their range is larger than coverage area of a
single piconet. For scatternet, multi master node must exist to manage all piconets. A
master or slave can be a bridge between piconet. Conversely, this node can only be
24
active in a piconet at a particular moment. A node can participate in more than one
piconet with time multiplexing. There are three low power modes available for
occasional passiveness in each piconet. The low power are hold, park and sniff
modes. The proposed method and overall result of this work has a few differences
between current developed work. The differences are listed as follow:
1. The platform used by Henrik et al. (2001) was a computer based controller
(Pentium II with 256 Kbytes of Flash PROM).
The computer based
controller can easily manage the Bluetooth network protocol and robot
control architecture since the processing speed is fast and memory space is
large.
2. The language used to develop firmware for the platform is C++. With high
level language such as C++, functions such as serial communication and
mathematic functions are provided in library.
Therefore, less work is
necessary to develop the platform.
3. The proposed method is focused on higher layer communication protocol.
The work tries to establish a scatternet with seven static robots which are
separated with wider range. Hold and sniff power save mode has been
proposed in this work to establish scatternet among these robots. However,
current developed work focus on forming piconet (BlueBot’s PAN) for
microcontroller based mobile robot. The result is sufficient for future study
in cooperative mobile robot.
With the coverage range of Bluetooth
transceiver being expanded, 100 meters is more than enough for few robots to
communication and cooperate.
2.7.3
Radio Controlled Robot Car
This work was developed in the University of Karlskrona/Ronneby, Sweden
(Marcel and Albert, 2000) which was completed in July 2000. It was carried out by
two electrical engineering students for their bachelor of degree final year project.
Figure 2.4 shows the picture of the radio robot car.
25
Figure 2.4: Radio Controlled Robot Car (Marcel and Albert, 2002).
The objective of the work was to create a point to point connection between a
robot car and a host computer both equipped with Bluetooth Starter Kits. The host
computer could run a program comprising of steering (acceleration/braking)
information and send the corresponding data to the robot car, which received the data
and controlled its stepper motors accordingly. Two Ericsson Bluetooth Starter Kits
were used as communication devices (see Figure 2.5). The host of the robot car was
a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) sitting on a development board. The work explains
a lot about the hardware of the Bluetooth starter kit and architecture of
TMS320C24X evaluation DSP board. It also includes the software architecture of
host computer and DSP board. THciInterface C++ class was developed and used to
handle Bluetooth HCI protocol on PC host while Borland C++ was used to
implement the control architecture on robot car.
Wireless
Communication
Bluetooth
transceiver
Bluetooth
transceiver
HCI
driver
HCI
driver
PC with HCI
software
DSP
Controller
Stepper
Motor
Figure 2.5: Architectural overview for Robot Car.
26
The design and operation of the Bluetooth point to point connection in this
work were documented very well and in high detail. The functionality of each
protocol layer was described well and shows the flow of data with precision.
Although this work was a good reference, there are still limitations and differences
with current developed work. Those limitations and differences are:
1. The work presented developed a point to point link.
It only involves
communication between two nodes which are a computer host and a robot
car.
Additional modification of hardware (Bluetooth transceiver) and
software (master node) is essential to establish point to multipoint
communication. The master of Bluetooth link (PC) needs only to supervise
one connection handle since there is only one link, there would not be any
packet forwarding from slave to slave.
2. Similar disadvantages as section 2.7.2 presented in this work. The cost of
whole system is much higher than a microcontroller based system.
3. Furthermore, the platform developed aim for Bluetooth communication
development because the robot car is quite small.
Further hardware
modification on the framework (robot car) is necessary if the platform needs
to be used for multi-robot cooperation development. The space on the robot
car is fully occupied by the circuitry components. Therefore there will not
be enough space if additional sensor or interfacing circuitry is required.
2.7.4
Bluetooth Enabled Wireless Mouse and Keyboard Interconnectivity
The work by Kenneth et al. (2001) presents the development of a wireless
mouse and keyboard application using Bluetooth Kits from Ericsson and a protocol
stack encapsulated in an Active-X component from C-Stack.
The work consisted of two different applications, running on a remote and a
local PC. The term remote refers to the PC, Bluetooth device and application which
intercepts the data transferred and simulates the mouse or simulates a key press.
Each PC had an Ericsson Bluetooth Development Kit connected to it through the
COM port. The local application was responsible for establishing the connection
27
with the remote device and then transferring the data to the remote PC.
The
overview of the work is shown is Figure 2.6. The remote application performed
various actions such as setting the mouse co-ordinates or simulating a key press,
depending on the data sent. The simulations were carried out using Microsoft Visual
Basic and component of C-Stack was used in the development. Although the work
aims to create the wireless mouse and keyboard, it started with simulation on PC.
Therefore the Bluetooth host is not similar to current developed work. However, the
work gives a good idea of link establishment and ACL data packet type.
Bluetooth
Development Kit
Local PC
Bluetooth
Development Kit
Remote PC
Figure 2.6: Project overview of Bluetooth Enabled Mouse and Keyboard
2.7.5
The BlueNurse Wireless Link
This is a project submitted by Naveenan (2001) at the University of
Queensland in year 2001. The project was about creating a wireless link between an
Electrocardiograph (ECG) monitor (called BlueMate) and an ECG sensor.
The
whole system from the ECG sensor to the ECG monitor was called BlueNurse. The
BlueNurse wireless link allows an ECG sensor to share information with the
BlueMate monitoring system using Bluetooth technology. The subcomponents that
form an endpoint of this link are the host stack and the Bluetooth module (Figure
28
2.7). Two host protocols, the Host Controller Interface (HCI) and the Logical Link
and Adaptation Protocol (L2CAP), were implemented in software.
BlueNurse System
BlueMate
Embedded
Stack
Embedded
Stack
Laptop,
Palm or
PC
BT
App
BT
App
HOST stack
User Interface
Data processing
uCtrl
ADC
interface
ECG Sensor
HOST stack
User Interface
Algorithmic
s/w
Wireless Link
Portable Logger (Master)
ECG Sensor (Slave)
Figure 2.7: BlueNurse block diagram illustrating major system components
The wireless link was created using the host software protocols, the Bluetooth
Application and Training Tool Kit (Sigma Teleca) and an Ericsson Bluetooth
module. This was a point to point connection, allowing only one master and a slave
to communicate. The work presented has a limitation where it only provide point to
point link and disadvantage where it used a laptop as the host for master node.
Though it gives a good reference on wireless technologies, Bluetooth network
establishment and microcontroller selection.
2.7.6
Wireless Communication in Telemedicine Using Bluetooth and IEEE
802.11b
Magnus (2001) investigated use of wireless communication in telemedicine
using Bluetooth and IEEE 802.11b.
The main objective is to investigate the
possibility of these technologies to provide solutions that reduce the number of
cables and wires used in telemedicine. This work has run experiments to find out the
interference when using both Bluetooth and WiFi together.
The objective of
experiments is to study how interference between Bluetooth and WiFi will affect the
29
throughput. Varying the distance between Bluetooth and WiFi equipments varies the
level of interference. Bluetooth PCMCIA card from IBM and WiFi PCMCIA card
from Lucent were used to performance the test. The experiment is carried out with
sending a 20 Mbytes of file wirelessly through File Transfer Protocol (FTP). The
health issue of the operating frequency of both technologies was also discussed in
this report.
Although the work seems not relevant to current developed work because it
used laptop and wireless PC card to run the test, it gives a good reference and
comparisons between Bluetooth and WiFi. The thesis discusses details in the Signal
to Noise Ratio (SNR) of Wireless LAN – WiFi and Bluetooth. Based on the result,
this thesis conclude that both Wireless LAN and Bluetooth gets affected of
interference from radio transmissions in the ISM frequency band, the Bluetooth
devices have longer range than the ten meters the specification indicates, and when
interference is added the throughput decreases rapidly. The author conclude that
Bluetooth is not mature enough to implement in telemedicine with a few reasons, and
one of it is Bluetooth specification 1.0 does not support monitoring of signal
strength, noise level and SNR. For Wireless LAN, the author mention that this
standard suffers from poor safety caused by bad design and more often faulty
implementations of the Wired Equivalent Protection (WEP) protocol that makes the
security in the Wireless LAN network less than satisfactory.
2.8
Discussion
This section will be divided into two parts. Section 2.8.1 will discuss on the
comparison of the other wireless technologies to Bluetooth technology. The reasons
and advantages for mobile robot to embed Bluetooth transceiver on board for
wireless communication will also be discussed. Section 2.8.2 will discuss on related
projects, looking some of the limitation and strength of the works.
30
2.8.1
Discussion on Wireless Technology
There are six wireless technologies discussed in this chapter, which is
Wireless LAN-IEEE 802.11b (WiFi), HiperLAN, IrDA, HomeRF, RF Module and
Bluetooth technology.
IrDA standard maybe have advantages over Bluetooth
embedded on mobile robot in term of data rate (Evelyn, 2001), but when considering
the range (1 meter) and the needs for line of sight, it is not suitable to be embedded
on mobile robot. IrDA provides better solution when interfacing, size and power
consumption is taken into consideration, however, because of the narrow angle of
IrDA communication sight, robot will need a lot of infrared transceiver in order to
communicate with each other in all directions. If the robot drives behind an obstacle,
it may not receive the signals from each other. Short communication range of 1.0
meter is another reason that IrDA is not suitable for mobile robot wireless
communication. It is almost impossible for a group of mobile robots to maintain the
line of sight from a communication source while performing a navigation or
cooperative task, as stated in the work by Eriksson (2002). Eriksson (2002) has
presented review on CAN (Controller Area Network) infrared network for Khepera
robots. It show that the coverage area of IrDA communication is limited since the
communication range of IrDA is only 1 to 1.2 meters. Furthermore, the area is also
limited by the angle of transmitter and receiver. The need line of sight between base
station and mobile robots is another disadvantage of the system. One of the main
objective is to replace the IrDA communication on Khepera robot with Bluetooth
wireless technology.
HomeRF is designed for wireless home Local Area Networks. The aim is to
provide wireless digital communication between PCs and consumer electronic
devices around the home. Furthermore, this technology has higher transmission
power than Bluetooth which is 100 mW. Therefore this technology is not suitable
for current developed work because there is no computer involved and low power
consumption is a major consideration.
Some robot applications and developments used RF module. As shown in the
work presented by Mohd Ridzuan (2003). The work used RF module with 418 KHz
of operating frequency on 3 mobile robots for wireless communication. Each mobile
31
robot has a pair of transmitter and receiver for bi-directional communication. The
data send in broadcast way and it is only 4 bits data wide. Additionally the
communication is only 20 feet. At least 4 modules are necessary to setup a
bidirectional wireless link between 2 mobile robots. Half duplex communication
will need extra protocol for the master to handle the scheduling of the link. Besides,
there is low security level of this link exposed the system to interference. RF module
sends data with direct broadcast without considering security factor and point to
point communication. Bluetooth send data with frequency hopping technique in
random sequence, thus it is safer. With Bluetooth technology, either point to point or
broadcasting communication could be chosen. Low bit rate is another disadvantages
of RF module. Bluetooth sends data in packet format, which also include error
checking. Some RF module sends data in nibble (4 bits) size. Thus when dealing
with large data communication such as motor control, encoder value and sensor
information, it is tremendously hard for the host to manage the data received. This
technology is not a choice when networking, security and cost is taken consideration.
HiperLAN and IEEE 802.11 have similar objective but HiperLAN is the
standard for European country. Thus HiperLAN is not a proper technology to be
used in Asian country. The great competitor of Bluetooth in this study will be IEEE
802.11b – WiFi. The focus of wireless LAN is to offer networking capabilities like a
wired LAN with higher bandwidth and longer range than Bluetooth. A Wireless
LAN solution offers connectivity through Access Points (AP) connected to a wired
network. A WLAN will cover several rooms, floors or possibly a whole building.
WiFi offer a lot more advantage compares to Bluetooth, wider communication range,
faster data rate and mature technology.
But when considering the system
requirement for WiFi, Bluetooth will overcome it. Bluetooth will have advantages in
term of size of transceiver, power consumption and host requirement. WiFi is design
for Wireless LAN where computer host and server can communicate, thus the host
will need an OS to handle all the protocol and networking. If a group of mobile robot
uses IEEE 802.11b wireless LAN (WiFi) as wireless communication tool, a higher
host system is required. The work by Gerkey et al. (2001) and the work of Nguyen
et al. (2003) show that the system needed took the form of a control server. Most
WiFi transceivers are packaged in PC card or PCI card for laptop and PC
32
respectively, thus systems such as computer host is required in order to interface with
it.
But Bluetooth was design to replace cable no matter what are the devices. A
camera, handphone, cordless headset, fan, PDA or anything with minimum system
can be embedded with Bluetooth. In other words, microcontroller is enough to
provide the minimum requirement as a Bluetooth host. Off course a Bluetooth host
can also be a computer. However, in order for a microcontroller to be the host of
WiFi transceiver, it will need a lot of modification and development.
High
processing speed, complicated interfacing and large program memory space are some
of the required system and modification.
Although WiFi may provide wider
communication range and higher bit rate, WiFi transceiver requires more space and
consumes higher power compared to Bluetooth transceiver. Additionally, current
Bluetooth communication range and transfer rates are sufficient for mobile robots
development. While direct communication using WiFi is possible, Nguyen et al.
(2003) described how it is quite difficult. In general, it is at least necessary for a
wireless router to be present. In contrast to this, Bluetooth makes it quite easy to
establish an Ad Hoc network for a group of mobile robots, making it easy to avoid
extra infrastructure related to the communication medium.
Without any added
infrastructure, it is quite simple to move the robot system from one location to
another. In addition, Bluetooth allows for the creation of up to seven simultaneous
connections, making it easy to create a network of communication for a number of
small robots. Another distinct advantage is that the Bluetooth enabled robot’s ability
to communicate with any other Bluetooth enabled devices, including printers, and
wireless phones, to name a few.
Therefore, Bluetooth still have the right
characteristic for microcontroller based mobile robot because of it the cost, size,
power consumption and system requirement.
Based on the work presented by Jian and Ljubo (2001), it explores the
suitability of Bluetooth for a group of mobile robots. Investigation of short-range
devices is carried out and further proposed Bluetooth technology to improve robot’s
radio communication system.
However, the works presented prove that mobile
robots with the simplest system could be embedded with Bluetooth technology for
wireless communication and furthermore networking. .
33
Comparisons and drawbacks of some of the technologies have already been
clearly pointed out. Although each technology has pros and corns, Bluetooth is still
suitable to be embedded on microcontroller based mobile robot. Table 2.1
summarized the characteristics of each wireless technology.
Table 2.1: Characteristics of each wireless technology
Wireless
Technology
Power
Consumption
Range
Host System
Ad Hoc
Networking
Bluetooth
WiFi
HIPERLAN
IrDA
HomeRF
RF Module
1 - 100mW
10 - 1000mW
10 - 1000mW
45mW
100mW
8mW
10-100 Meters
Single Chip
300 Feets
High (PC)
50 Meters
High (PC)
Possible
Possible
50 Meters
High (PC)
Master
(PC)
500 Feets
Minimum
Ad Hoc
1.2 Meter
Minimum
Point to
Point
Security
Encrytion
Encrytion
Encrytion
No
Encrytion
Cost
Medium
Data Rate
medium
Air wave
732.2Kbps
high
Air wave
11Mbps
high
Air wave
20Mbps
low
Infrared
16Mbps
high
Air wave
1.6Mbps
Broadcast
Direct
Broadcast
low
Air wave
100Kbps
The following section summarized the advantages of Bluetooth technology
against other technologies.
1.
IrDA needs line of sight with narrow angle and short range, while Bluetooth is
used RF to transmit signal, thus mobile robot could move freely with in the
communication range.
2.
HomeRF require a much higher system for it host such as PC. Furthermore,
the cost of HomeRF subsystem is much higher than Bluetooth. Higher power
consumption of HomeRF is another major reason why Bluetooth is chosen in
current developed work.
3.
RF module have drawbacks when it come to security, cost, networking and
data communication are taken consideration.
4.
HiperLAN is European standard for wireless LAN, therefore this is a strong
point why this technology was not chosen in this work. Furthermore this
technology has similar advantages and disadvantages with IEEE 802.11 which
will be pointed out in next paragraph.
5.
IEEE 802.11b-WiFi provides wider range, higher transfer rate and matured
standard compared to Bluetooth. However, communication range and transfer
34
rate of Bluetooth technology are sufficient for mobile robots communication.
Moreover, lower power consumption, lower cost and simpler system
requirement are major reason for microcontroller based mobile robot
developments.
Among all wireless technologies discussed, Bluetooth has advantages and
disadvantages in different criteria with different technology. However, Bluetooth
provide sufficient communication range, sufficient transfer rate, low power
consumption, small size and simple system requirement. Therefore, Bluetooth is
chosen to be embedded in microcontroller based mobile robot to offer wireless
communication. Bluetooth networking support up to 8 active nodes in piconet and it
can expand in to bigger network, scatternet. Thus the group of mobile robots can be
bigger for future development and study in either Ad Hoc networking or cooperative
mobile robot.
2.8.2
Discussion on Related Projects
Although there are a lot of references to current research work, yet only six
titles are discussed because these works provide good references. All six works
presented in section 2.7 show that there are limitations and differences with the
current developed work. The following segment will summarize the limitations and
differences.
1. All six works show that the host of Bluetooth network master node is a
computer based system, while the current developed work tries to implement
Bluetooth master host on a microcontroller based robot. The challenges of
developing microcontroller based master could prove the simulation work
presented in Kenneth et al. (2001). Their works simulate the data from
keyboard and mouse on a local PC and sends it through Bluetooth link to
another remote PC to display the data. Most works only implement slave
node/s on microcontroller based platform such as work discussed in section
2.7.1. Master node of Bluetooth network has to responsible for inquiry
process, receive inquiry process and establish the Bluetooth link. While for a
35
slave node, it can be configured to accept all connection requests from any
Bluetooth node.
Therefore, it is easier to implement a slave node on
microcontroller.
2. Most of works presented develop point to point Bluetooth link, though there
are works such as the work discussed in section 2.7.1 where it attempt to
establish a Bluetooth piconet which consist of four slave nodes (Khepera
robot) and a master node (PC). However, the work could not archive its
objective because master node could not send ACL data to every Khepera
robots after the establishment of piconet. The software stack, C-Stack has
restricted the Bluetooth link to only one connection (latest established
connection). On the other hand, current developed work tries to overcome
this limitation. Point to multipoint communication is one of the objectives
stated in Chapter 1. Once a point to multipoint network is established, the
master node should be responsible to manage the network such as forwarding
packet, differentiate connection handle and broadcasting data. There is not
direct communication between slaves.
This increased the work load of
master or in other words, it increased the work load of microcontroller.
Therefore increased the challenges of developing a microcontroller host for
the master node of point to multipoint Bluetooth network.
3. Work by Henrik et al. (2001) developed a platform which can form scatternet
which consist of seven static robots. However, every robot is controlled by a
Pentium II computer based controller.
Although the work implemented
higher layer of Bluetooth protocol, it is not a major issue because the
controller offer high processing speed, large memory and high level
programming. Nevertheless, if Bluetooth protocol is to be developed on a
microcontroller based system; all the factors mentioned will be one of the
main issue. Therefore, current developed work tries to embed Bluetooth
protocol stack and robot control on a single chip. This obviously increased
the challenge of developing PAN for microcontroller based mobile robot.
4. Besides the differences and challenges stated, there is another challenge faced
in the current developed work where the platform is built from scratch.
Every single part of the robots which includes robot structure, microcontroller
board and even the software developed are designed and implemented from
36
the beginning stage. To provide a platform for multi-robot system and Ad
Hoc networking study is one of the main objectives.
The differences of works reviewed with current developed work are clearly
listed out. The contributions and challenges of currently developed work are also
clearly emphasized. While all reviewed works proposed a platform with at least a
computer host as master node, the current developed work aim to develop a purely
microcontroller based system.
With the intensive development from all
microcontroller manufacturers, future microcontroller system will have greater
abilities. Vision processing, voice recognition and complex algorithm i.e. Neural
Network, Fuzzy Logic, Genetic Algorithm and Behavior Based can be developed on
microcontroller system.
Nevertheless,
embedding
Bluetooth
technology
on
microcontroller
encounters several limitations and problems. One obvious problem is the memory
space used to implement the Bluetooth stack (Aleksandar, R. et al., 2003). Although
the HCI implemented consumed around 2.5 Kbytes of memory space, it is around
7.81% of total memory space. Comparing to a computer based system; the stack
developed could only consume less than 1% of total memory available. Another
limitation is the used of Universal Serial Bus (USB).
The HCI stack can be
interconnect by USB with host. However, not much of microcontroller (single chip
or development board) support the interface for USB adapter, as a result, limiting the
communication speed between Bluetooth transceiver and the host.
2.9
Summary
An overview of over all wireless technologies and research areas that have
been carried out for Bluetooth technology are covered in this chapter. Bluetooth
technology is considered a good choice to provide PAN for mobile robot because it
is aimed to replace cable, low powered, small size and low cost. The most important
factor is that it can be embedded on a minimum system. Projects and researches
discussed in this chapter mainly focus on developing Bluetooth network for
37
computer based mobile robot. Developing PAN for purely microcontroller based
mobile robot using Bluetooth transceiver have not been carried out.
Bluetooth technology will be discussed in next chapter.
Detail of
CHAPTER 3
BLUETOOTH TECHNOLOGY AND PERSONAL AREA NETWORK (PAN)
3.1
Introduction
Bluetooth is a low cost, low power, short-range radio technique introduced by
Ericsson and others.
Bluetooth is originally and essentially a replacement for
physical cables. The goal of eliminating cables has led to the creation of the notion
of Personal Area Networks (PAN), a close range network surrounding a person
carrying several heterogeneous devices equipped with wireless communication
techniques. The aim is to make connectivity simple, seamless and intuitive. Users
should no longer have to install, plug in, enable or configure their devices in order to
get them to communicate with each other. With the fulfillment of this goal the
communication will be seamless and ubiquitous to the user. However, this simplicity
to the user puts the demands on the Bluetooth developer who has to deal with all the
complexity.
Bluetooth technology achieves it goal by embedding small, inexpensive, short
range and low powered radio transceivers into devices that are available today, either
directly or through an adapter such as a PC card. Bluetooth radio operates at 2.4
GHz in license free Industrial Scientific and Medical (ISM) band.
This band
specifies a basic set of power, spectral emission and interference rules. Bluetooth
transmission supports data speeds of up to 723.2 kbps and supports up to three voice
channels. In order to be a winner in this shared frequency band, Bluetooth has
focused on being robust at the cost of transfer speed. Bluetooth radios are designed
39
to operate in a noisy radio frequency environment. It avoids interference from other
signals by hopping to a new frequency after transmitting or receiving a packet (Tata
Consultancy Services, 2000).
3.2
Bluetooth Architecture
This chapter discusses Bluetooth technology which includes protocol stack,
network topology and security.
The system architecture of Bluetooth has been
segmented into various almost independent layers for conceptual ease of description.
Details of these protocol layers are documented in the core Bluetooth Specifications
(Bluetooth SIG, 1999). There are three versions of Bluetooth core specification by
mid of year 2004.
The specification that will be discussed is based v1.0.
A
document that described the profiles of Bluetooth is also available at the same site.
This document described design specification for a certain common class of
applications to be implemented over Bluetooth.
Next section will discuss the Bluetooth protocol stack.
According to
Bluetooth SIG, a communications protocol is essentially a language used by two
entities to exchange information over a communications channel - it represents a
shared understanding or agreement of how each entity will interpret the signals it
receives from the other. Even the use of a simple standard asynchronous RS-232
link requires agreements as to:
•
Which conductors of the cable (i.e., which connector pins) will carry the data
stream in which direction, and which, if any, conductors will carry control
information (and how the receiver of control information should respond to
it).
•
The voltage levels used to represent a 1 and a 0.
•
The link signaling rate, or time a given voltage will be maintained in order to
represent a single bit of information.
•
The representation of a character: the presence of a start bit, the minimum
number of stop bits, whether or not there is a parity bit (and how to compute
40
it), and whether the data bits are ordered with the most- or the least
significant bit first.
Based on these agreements, a stream of characters transmitted by a device
connected to one end of the cable is received and interpreted as the same stream of
characters by another device connected to the other end.
Of course, if the
communications between two serially-interfaced devices is to be useful, additional
agreements must exist as to the "meaning" of the data characters being exchanged,
and these agreements - as to which characters or strings of characters should
represent different commands or responses to commands - should be independent of
the physical layer agreements defining the physical representation of the characters.
This is the key notion of protocol layering: that the complete set of agreements
between two communicating systems can be divided into a number of independent
hierarchical layers, with "protocol entities" at each layer using a service provided by
the interaction of the protocol entities at the next lower layer (Douglas, 1997).
3.2.1
Bluetooth Protocol Stack
The complete Bluetooth protocol stack is shown in Figure 3.1. This protocol
stack has been designed to include the existing protocols as much as possible (like
TCP, UDP, OBEX) as well as Bluetooth specific protocols like HCI, LMP and
L2CAP.
The protocol reuse ensures smooth interoperability between existing
applications and hardware (Atmel Corporation, 2000a).
41
vCard/vCal
OBEX
ATCommands
WAE
TCS BIN
SDP
WAP
UDP
TCP
IP
PPP
RFCOMM
Audio
L2CAP
Host Controller Interface
LMP
Baseband
Bluetooth Radio
Figure 3.1: Bluetooth Protocol Stack
Bluetooth protocol stack consists of related software routines, or protocols,
each of which performs one of the tasks required to accomplish the communication
between the two devices. The various protocols within the Bluetooth protocol stack
work together to ensure that data is transmitted reliably from one Bluetooth device to
another Bluetooth device. This concept is based on the Open System Interconnection
(OSI) model consisting of different layers.
From Figure 3.1, the bottom layer in Bluetooth protocol stack is Bluetooth
Radio. This layer specifies the parameters related to the media interface for the
Bluetooth.
It defines characteristics such as the frequency band and channel
arrangements, transmitter characteristics, modulation characteristics, receiver
characteristics, etc. Above the radio layer is the Baseband. The Baseband and Link
Control Layer enable the physical RF (Radio Frequency) link between Bluetooth
units forming a piconet. This layer controls the Bluetooth unit’s synchronization and
transmission frequency hopping sequence. This layer also manages the two different
link types defined in Bluetooth link, Synchronous Connection Oriented (SCO) and
Asynchronous Connection Less (ACL) (Atmel Corporation, 2000b). ACL provides
packet-switched connections between the master and all active slaves.
Packet
42
retransmissions are usually applied to ensure data integrity. SCO links are usually
used for voice transmissions. The SCO link is point to point between the master and
one slave. The master maintains the link by using reserved time slots at regular
intervals to poll the slave.
In SCO, packet retransmissions are not allowed.
Bluetooth supports one ACL channel, three SCO channels or one channel that
simultaneously supports asynchronous data and synchronous voice. Bluetooth radios
operate in the unlicensed ISM (Industrial, Scientific, and Medical) band at 2.4 GHz,
which is globally available. The ISM band ranging from 2.4000 to 2.4835 GHz is
divided into seventy nine 1 MHz channels, each signaling data at maximum of 1
Mega-symbol per second. Bluetooth sends one packet in one of these 1 MHz slots
and then both the receiver and the sender tunes into another channel. This results in
a hopping process that eventually will make sure that all of the 79 channels will be
used.
This behavior is called Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS).
Bluetooth hops between channels 1600 times per second. This means that every
timeslots is 625 microseconds, which is the normal time it takes to send a packet.
There is however the possibility of sending larger packets spanning over 3 or 5
timeslots resulting in increased transfer speeds (Haartsen, 2000). The reason for this
fast hopping and short packages is robustness. If a part of the ISM band is exposed
to interference and thus compromises the transmission other parts might still be
available and the re-transmission will hopefully be sent in a frequency where
interference is not present.
At 0 dBm (nominal antenna power), the RF may
communicate within the range of 10 meters (about 33 feet). Optionally, a range of
100 meters (about 328 feet) may be achieved by using an antenna power of 20 dBm
(Choo et al., 2002). The Bluetooth system consists of a radio unit, link control unit,
and a support unit for link management and host terminal interface functions.
The Link Manager Protocol (LMP) is responsible for link setup between
Bluetooth units. It handles the control and negotiation of packet sizes used when
transmitting data. This layer also handles the management of power modes (Active,
Hold, Park and Sniff) and power consumption. Finally, the LMP handles generation,
exchange and control of link and encryption keys for authentication and encryption.
This layer generate LM message for link set-up, security and control. They are
transferred in the payload instead of L2CAP and are distinguished by a reserved
value in the payload header. The messages are filtered out and interpreted by LM on
43
the receiving side and are not propagated to higher layers. Link Manager messages
have higher priority than user data. This means that if the Link Manager needs to
send a message, it shall not be delayed by the L2CAP traffic, although it can be
delayed by many retransmissions of individual Baseband packets. The messages in
LMP do not need explicit acknowledgement since LC (Link Controller) provides a
reliable link.
Each voice channel supports a 64 kbps synchronous link.
The
asynchronous channel can support an asymmetric link of maximum 723.2 kbps in
either direction while permitting 57.6 kbps in the return direction, or a 433.9 kbps
symmetric link.
The Host Controller Interface (HCI) provides a uniform interface method for
accessing the Bluetooth hardware capabilities. It contains a command interface to
the Baseband controller, and link manager and access to hardware status. Finally, it
contains control and event registers. This layer played an important function in this
research and is therefore described more detailed in next section.
Bluetooth protocol also defines other higher layer protocol. Above HCI, data
may be transferred to Logical Link Control and Adaptation Protocol (L2CAP) for
further process. L2CAP layer provides connection-oriented and connectionless data
services to upper layers. This layer interfaces to the link controller and allows
multiple channels to share a single Bluetooth link. In this manner, multiple different
high-level protocols like Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and
Object Exchange Protocol (OBEX) file transfer can be used simultaneously. This
process is protocol multiplexing.
Beside this, L2CAP is also responsible for
segmentation and reassembly for packets which exceed the Maximum Transmission
Unit (MTU). It also provides group management, including the handling of point-to
multipoint connections and the negotiation of quality of service (QoS) between
devices.
Above L2CAP, RFCOMM layer provides a mechanism for transmitting and
receiving characters over a Bluetooth link as if the application was talking to a serial
port. Because of its simplicity and familiarity, many applications will use RFCOMM
for serial data transfers (Magnus, 2001).
Also above L2CAP layer, Service
Discovery Protocol (SDP) provides a way to discover available Bluetooth services.
44
A Bluetooth device can act as an SDP client looking for services, or as SDP server
providing a service or services, or it can have both functions. It defines how a client
can search for a service without knowing anything of the available services.
3.2.2
OSI Layer Stack
The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) Reference Model, developed by the
International Standards Organization (ISO) in the early 1980s, was intended to be
general enough to serve as the basis for description of even the most complicated
network systems.
This model defines seven layers (from lowest to highest):
Physical, Link, Network, Transport, Session, Presentation, and Application.
A
number of specific protocols have been developed as implementations of the ISO
OSI Reference Model, but the explosive growth of the Internet has focused the
attention of developers on Internet-compatible protocols.
The ‘open systems’
component refers to its suitability for wired or wireless network architecture. This
standard is excessive in many respects, but it provides a good comparison to the
Bluetooth protocol stack (Naveenan, 2001).
Figure 3.2 show the comparison between Bluetooth protocol stack with OSI
model. Based on OSI reference model, the physical layer (lowest layer) is concerned
with transmitting raw binary data over a communication channel. The physical
medium below this layer propagates the communication signal.
For current
developed work which based on wireless communications, the air is this medium.
The Data Link Layer uses multi-bit packets (data frames) and makes the link appear
free of errors by using acknowledgements and retransmissions, flow control, and
sequence numbers to maintain the order of data frames. The Network layer allows
heterogeneous networks to interconnect and handles routing. Routing is the relaying
of data frames from one node to another to reach a destination outside the nodes
reach. This is an intense area of research in wireless networks. The Transport Layer
multiplexes several message streams onto one channel. It establishes, manages, and
disconnects a logical channel (a channel is similar to a “pipe” between destination
and source) between peer devices. The Session Layer allows half or full duplex data
45
transfer over the channel as well as synchronization services.
Synchronization
allows data transfer to resume after channel disconnection. The Presentation Layer
maintains the syntax and semantics of information transmitted to ensure
compatibility between different network architectures.
The Application Layer
interfaces the protocol stack with the users’ software establishing data
communication over the physical medium (Eriksson, 2002).
Comparing to Bluetooth protocol stack, the physical layers correspond to the
Radio and Baseband layers in the Bluetooth stack. The LMP and L2CAP form the
Data link layer. The LMP controls the link while the L2CAP manages data transfer
(Nilsson and Brodin, 2000). The remaining Bluetooth protocols form an aggregate
to the OSI layers. The HCI allows physical and logical separation of the upper layer
protocols from the lower layers (Baseband and LMP).
L2CAP also performs
network and transport layer functions such as routing packets among several wireless
nodes. The upper layers such as SDP and RCOMM are considered application layer
protocols as they provide services to user programs that use the Bluetooth stack
(Karvosenoja, 2002).
Bluetooth Stack
Profile
OSI Model
Application Layer
RFCOMM
SDP
Presentation Layer
Session Layer
L2CAP
Transport Layer
Link Manager
Network Layer
Baseband
Data Link Layer
Radio
Physical Layer
HCI
Figure 3.2: Bluetooth Stack to OSI protocol
46
3.2.3
Host Controller Interface
Although higher layer of Bluetooth protocol for example L2CAP and
RFCOMM provide higher functionally, in this project the development concentrate
on HCI layer because for microcontroller based system, HCI is sufficient to establish
wireless link and send ACL data. The space of microcontroller program memory
was also taken in to consideration, since to implement higher protocol stack, there
will not sufficient memory space for further development.
Further more, HCI
provide the accessibility to all hardware (baseband and radio) function.
All
information including commands, events and two kinds of data must go through this
layer in order for host to communicate with transceiver. There are four different
types of packages transmitted over HCI and they are all defined in the HCI transport
layer; Command, Event, ACL and SCO packets. Figure 3.3 illustrates the HCI layer
Bluetooth Host
Other Higher Layer
HCI Driver
Physical Bus (USB,
PC Card, Other) Driver
Physical Bus
Physical Bus (USB,
PC Card, Other)
HCI Firmware
Link Manager Firmware
Baseband Controller
Bluetooth Hardware
Figure 3.3: Overview of Bluetooth HCI Layer
47
3.2.3.1 Command Packets
A Command packet is used by the host (microcontroller) to access the
Bluetooth hardware capabilities (See Figure 3.4). Each Command packet started
with value 0x01 (0x = hexadecimal value) and followed by 2 byte Opcode used to
uniquely identify different types of commands. The Opcode parameter is divided
into two fields. First field is Opcode Group Field (OGF) which occupied 6 bits of
total Opcode field. Second field is Opcode Command Field (OCF) which occupied
the other 10 bits. The second parameter defines the parameter total length in bytes
and it occupied 1 byte only. Every Command sent is followed by a response from
the Bluetooth device in form of an Event packet called Command Complete or
Command Status. Figure 3.4 shows the HCI Command packet format.
0
4
8
12
16
OpCode
OCF
20
24
Parameter Total
Length
OGF
Parameter 1
28
31
Parameter 0
Parameter …….
•
•
•
Parameter N-1
Parameter N
Figure 3.4: HCI Command Packet Format
3.2.3.2 Event Packets
The HCI Event packet is used by the Host Controller (Bluetooth transceiver)
to notify the Host when events occur. Event packet starts with 1 byte of packet
indicator with value 0x04. Follow by a byte which identifies the type of event that
has occurred, for example, Connection_Complete event or Disconnection_Complete
event. Third byte of Event packet is the parameter total length, and then the rest of
data are data parameters. These parameters give information about the number of
48
sent packets, information about the link type, information about connection handlers
for devices, and more. The format of the HCI Event Packet is shown in Figure 3.5.
0
4
8
12
16
Parameter Total
Length
Event Code
20
24
28
31
Event Parameter 0
Event Parameter 1
Event Parameter 2
Event Parameter 3
•
•
•
Event Parameter N-1
Event Parameter N
Figure 3.5: HCI Event Packet Format
3.2.3.3 HCI Data Packets
Once a connection is established between two Bluetooth devices, data can be
sent to each other with the help of HCI data packets. The data packets are defined
for both ACL and SCO data types. As stated before, SCO data type is aimed for
transmission of voice and is not used in current developed work. The format of the
HCI ACL Data Packet is shown in Figure 3.6. The value of ACL data packet
indicator is 0x02 (Choo, 2001). After 1 byte of packet indicator, there are two bytes
of parameter which represent the connection handle and two flags. The connection
handle is presented to both master and slave units when they receive the
Connection_Complete event. This handler consists of 12 bits and must be used in the
header of each data packet in order to reach the destination. The Packet Boundary
(PB) flag is used to notify if the packet is the first or a continuing packet. The
Broadcast (BC) flag tells if the message is broadcasted to several slaves or just one
specific device (point to point). Next parameter is ACL data total length which
occupied 2 bytes. However, the data should be in L2CAP packet format, if else the
Baseband will not accept the packet. An L2CAP packet consists of a data length
field followed by a channel ID field, which is used for higher-level protocol
49
multiplexing. The channel ID field is followed by a field, which contains the actual
user data.
0
4
8
12
16
PB
Flag
Connection Handle
20
BC
Flag
24
28
31
Data Total Length
Data
Figure 3.6: HCI ACL Data Packet Format
As a summary, Figure 3.7 shows the format of all HCI packets, including
HCI SCO packet format.
Packet Indicator
0x01
Command Packet
Opcode
Par. Total
Length
Parameters
ACL Data Packet
0x02
Connection
Handle
P
B
B
C
Data Total Length
Data
L2CAP Payload
Data Length Channel ID
Data
SCO Data Packet
0x03
Connection
Handle
Data Total
Length
Data
Event Packet
0x04
Event
Code
Par. Total
Length
Parameters
Figure 3.7: HCI packet formats
3.2.4
Data Communication between Bluetooth Hosts
Figure 3.8 illustrates the path of data transfer from one Bluetooth device to
another. The host will be the microcontroller. The HCI driver on the host exchanges
data and commands with the HCI firmware on the Bluetooth hardware. The host
50
Control Transport Layer (i.e. the serial cable) driver provides both HCI layers with
the ability to exchange information with each other.
The host will receive
asynchronous notifications of HCI events independent of which Host Controller
Transport Layer is used. When the host discovers that an event has occurred, it will
then parse the received event packet to determine which event occurred. In this
project, microcontroller has to start the initialization by sending command to
Bluetooth transceiver and wait for event packet to notify the status of corresponding
command. After establishing connection between two hosts, ACL data can be sent
through HCI layer to reach the other end. In order for HCI driver on microcontroller
to communicate with HCI firmware on Bluetooth transceiver, a physical bus
interface must exist. This bus may be USB, PC card or serial port (RS232 or
UART).
Serial port was chosen as physical bus in this project because the
microcontroller supports UART protocol. From Figure 3.8, it is clearly outlined that
all lower layer which include HCI firmware, LMP, Baseband and Radio is
implemented on Bluetooth Module of the Bluetooth transceiver.
Host 1
Host 2
Bluetooth Host
Bluetooth Host
User Data
Other Higher
Layer Driver
Other Higher
Layer Driver
Wireless
Bluetooth
Transceiver
Bluetooth
Transceiver
Baseband
Baseband
HCI Firmware
HCI Firmware
Physical Bus (USB, PC
Card, Other) Firmware
Physical Bus (USB, PC
Card, Other) Firmware
HCI Driver
HCI Driver
Physical Bus Driver
(Bus, PC Card, Other
Driver)
Physical Bus
Hardware
Physical Bus Driver
(Bus, PC Card, Other
Driver)
Physical Bus
Hardware
Figure 3.8: End to End Overview of Lower Software Layers to Transfer Data
51
3.3
Bluetooth Personal Area Network
Bluetooth Wireless is the leading standard for wireless PAN. PAN is a short
range wireless network which connects static or mobile electronic devices. This
section discusses the characteristic of Bluetooth PAN and its operation.
There are two fundamental ways a pair of wireless nodes can communicate
with each other to share data. They both depend on the network topology or spatial
structure of the networked devices. One method is to transfer data between nodes via
a common Access Point (AP). Access Points serve as bridges between wireless and
wired networks. An AP usually contains a transceiver, a wired network interface (to
communicate with the wired infrastructure) and software for data processing. The
software performs the role of system administrator in the wireless network
(Naveenan, 2001). The alternative way is an Ad Hoc topology that favors mobile
applications for example communication between portable devices. Ad Hoc network
is defined as “a network characterized by temporary, short-lived relationships
between nodes” (CyberScience Laboratory , 2003). There is also other definition as
“a group of wireless nodes that co-operatively form a network that operates without
the support of any fixed infrastructure” (Eriksson, 2002). In Ad Hoc networking,
nodes that wander into range of another node may request and establish a connection.
When that node leaves the area, connection can be terminated abruptly. Bluetooth
network topology is Ad Hoc topology since any node can start the inquiry process
searching other nodes to establish a connection. Ad Hoc topology is suitable for
mobile robot because it provides fast and robust wireless link. Besides, it provides
the possibility for networking on mobile nodes. Mobile robot may enter the network
when it desired and disconnect from the network anytime.
A Personal Area Network is a network which allows devices with in few
meters range to communicate and information may flow seamlessly between devices
(Johansson et al., 2001). The term “PAN” defines a new usage scenario in WLANs,
where the key factors are lower power consumption, lower cost, and superior ease of
use (Jennifer and Charles, 2001). One example of an application within one PAN is
the electronic business card of a new contact that automatically find its way across
the PAN into the address register on a notebook computer and into the number
52
register on a mobile phone. In this project, Bluetooth PAN will allow three mobile
robots to communicate, sharing information to achieve a simple task. PAN of mobile
robots will be referred to Piconet of Bluetooth.
PAN describes the networking of Bluetooth, while piconets represent the
basic of Bluetooth network.
A piconet is essentially a collection of devices
connected via Bluetooth technology in an Ad Hoc fashion. A piconet generally starts
with two connected devices, such as a portable PC and a mobile phone. The limit is
set at 8 units in a piconet (Figure 3.9). All Bluetooth devices are peer units and have
identical interfaces to each other.
However, when establishing a piconet, the
initiating unit will act as a master for synchronization purposes. The master’s clock
and hopping sequence are used for this synchronization. The other unit(s) will be
slave(s) for the duration of the piconet’s existence. The extension to piconets is
called scatternets. This is when two or more independent and non-synchronized
piconets communicate with each other.
In this project, a point to multipoint
connection has been developed with 3 nodes to form a piconet. One node will be the
master and start the inquiry process searching for other Bluetooth devices (mobile
robots) in range. The master node will use the results from inquiry process to page
for the corresponding devices to establish a wireless link. This process starts when
the host of master node sends a Create_Connection command to the Bluetooth
transceiver. If create connection is success for both link, a PAN for mobile robots is
formed. The group of mobile robots may start the communication.
Bluetooth presents a number of technical challenges from a networking
perspective such as Ad Hoc network formation and scheduling of traffic between
nodes simultaneously operating on different channels. Bluetooth operates inherently
in an Ad Hoc manner since it is not relying on any infrastructure via say an access
point or base station. The participants of a Bluetooth network is expected to be
mobile and will move in and out of coverage and nodes may also join or leave the
network rather frequently. This scenario also applied to mobile robots which have
high mobility, a mobile robot could easily move out of Bluetooth Network range and
get in back after some time. A PAN may have both “own” devices and “guest”
devices from other PANs. The characteristics of a Bluetooth PAN will in many
cases be such that the concepts of Ad Hoc networking fit very well and could help to
53
create robust and flexible network connectivity not only for mobile robots but for
other portable devices.
Furthermore, a major technical step is taken when the
Bluetooth piconet network architecture, a strict star topology, is extended into a
scatternet architecture, when piconets are interconnected.
However, in current
developed work, focus will be given on developing the piconet for microcontroller
based mobile robot.
Scatternet will be one of the recommended future
developments.
Master
Piconet 1
Piconet 2
Slave
Scatternet
Figure 3.9: Bluetooth Piconet
In Bluetooth network, all communication goes through the master unit. There
is no direct communication between the slaves. The idea is not that the master
should route information between the slaves.
Instead, if two slaves want to
communicate with each other they can form a new piconet with one of them acting as
the master. A slave or a master in one piconet can become a slave in another piconet.
If the need arises, this unit can then relay information between the two piconets.
However a device is not forced to leave the previous piconet, Bluetooth specifies
some modes in which devices can be set as parked in the “old” piconet while they
communicate in the new. This node will act as a bridge between 2 piconets. This
node can participate in multiple piconets by Time Division Multiples Method (TDM)
(Johansson et al., 2001). The Bluetooth system provides full duplex transmission
based on Time Division Duplex (TDD), where the duration is 0.625ms.
54
Communications in a piconet is organized so that the master polls each slave
according to a polling scheme.
The networking of Bluetooth is the basic of PAN for mobile robot. Piconet is
the simplest network in Bluetooth network. Piconet of Bluetooth is based on Ad Hoc
topology where any two nodes may form a network, without the help of any fixed
infrastructure, and the nodes of this PAN may increase or decrease when nodes
wanted to leave or join the group. Bluetooth PAN is a flexible network, where
mobile robot could easily establish connection with a group of mobile robot when it
enter the communication range or disconnected when it leave the group. Thus it is
suitable to implement it on mobile robot platform. Next two sections give brief
concept about the Bluetooth Development kit and Bluetooth Host Stack available in
the market and those that have been developed in other research works.
3.4
Bluetooth Development Tools
Three Bluetooth transceivers from two Bluetooth development kit have been
attached on mobile robots to establish the PAN. One is from Sigma Teleca, another
two are from Motorola. The main objective of Bluetooth development kits was to
provide a platform for Bluetooth developer that may help them to reduce
development time and cost. Development kits come with some equipments and
software support. The equipments include:
•
Circuit board
•
Power supply
•
Bluetooth core chip
•
Bluetooth RF (radio) module
•
Interface (USB, UART or RS232)
•
PCM chip and audio interface for audio applications
•
Antenna or antenna connector
•
Bluetooth Host Stack (some)
55
They also include extensive documentation and support. The drawback with
these kits is that they are often expensive. The role of development kit in this project
is to provide the lower layers of Bluetooth protocol stack which included radio,
baseband, Link Manager and HCI for communication with the host stack. In the
following texts, a review of Bluetooth development kits is outlined.
Figure 3.10 shows a kit from a Swedish company called Sigma Teleca
(Sigma Teleca, 2001). The kit was originally designed by Ericsson. It has an
Ericsson Bluetooth module with either point to point or multipoint operability
depending on which Bluetooth module is attached to it. ROK101008 module support
only point to point connection, while ROK101007 supports point to multipoint
connection (Ericsson, 2000b) (Ericsson, 2000c). The circuit board is quite basic,
containing a Bluetooth module, a DC/DC converter, an RS-232/USB connector and
additional pin-outs. The kit does not support voice, although it is possible to access
the PCM pins on the module and thereby connect a voice device to it. Price is set to
US$1200 (without local VAT and shipping) for one kit. In order to send and receive
information two kits are needed. Two kits were sponsored by Ericsson Malaysia
Sdn. Bhd. to Faculty of Electrical Engineering for student research and study on
Bluetooth technology. One kit was used as transceiver for a slave mobile robot
because this kit only supports point to point connection. The detail of this kit is
attached in Appendix A.
Figure 3.10: Bluetooth Application and Training Tool Kit (Sigma Teleca, 2001).
The development boards from Stonestreet One (2002) have a general PCB
layout but with different Bluetooth modules from different manufacturers.
The
functionality and the price is nevertheless the same. The version with the Bluetooth
module from Ericsson includes two development boards with Bluetooth radio,
56
Baseband, HCI, Link Manager, and more. See Figure 3.11 shows the picture of the
development board. The features of this development kit include:
•
Bluetooth module from Ericsson
•
Development version of Stonestreet One's BQB-qualified Bluetooth Protocol
Stack
•
Sample application with source code
•
USB and RS232 cables and headset with microphone
Figure 3.11: Stonestreet One development board (Stonestreet One, 2002).
Ericsson Bluetooth Starter Kit provides a fully functional development
environment for voice and data applications based on the Bluetooth Module from
Ericsson Microelectronics (See Figure 3.12). The kit is ideal for developing host
based applications and provides basic Bluetooth software including the appropriate
application programming interfaces (API).
A full set of documentation is also
supplied. The price is approximately US$2500 per piece (Ericsson, 2000a).
Figure 3.12: Ericsson Bluetooth Starter Kit (Ericsson, 2000a).
57
Another two Bluetooth transceivers are chosen from Motorola Development
Kit. The kits are sponsored by Motorola Penang. Figure 3.13 shows this kit. This
kit is “71000 Bluetooth Development Kit”. It is equipped with MC71000 Bluetooth
Basedband Controller IC, MC13180 Bluetooth Low Power Wireless Data
Transceiver IC and MC13181 Wireless Power Management IC. The developer can
develop software and hardware solutions around the platform chipset; it also
provides easy and quick set up for class 2 Bluetooth solution. This kit is Bluetooth
1.1 qualified which means it can handle all the protocol specified in Bluetooth
Specification core v1.1. Configuration Manager is a application that allows users to
handle the development kit file system. Firmware patches, parameters for baseband,
radio can be download with Configuration Manager. Another helpful software is
Bluetooth HCI Terminal which allowed users to interact with Bluetooth
Development board. User may be able to monitor the communication between host
and Bluetooth transceiver. Sending commands and receiving events can be recorded
easily with this terminal. All application is accompanied by corresponding document
to help developers to understand the usage and further utilize each tool. The details
of this kit are attached in Appendix B.
Figure 3.13: Motorola Bluetooth Development Kit
As acknowledged before, the kits provide the lower layer of Bluetooth stack
for communication to Bluetooth host which is microcontroller. There is hardware
that provides this platform with smaller size compared to development kit.
58
Development kits come with the objective for development and thus are built in
bigger size. The Bluetooth module ROK 101 007, ROK 101 008 and ROK 104 001
are single chip Bluetooth transceivers complete with radio, baseband, Link Manager
and HCI firmware.
These modules are used in some development kit such as
Bluetooth Training and Application Tools Kit from Sigma Teleca, StoneStreet One
Development kit and Ericsson Bluetooth Starter Kit. Figure 3.14 shows the size of
Ericsson Bluetooth Module. The implementation and the used of this module is
carried out in the work by Eriksson (2002) and Karvosenoja (2002). However, there
is some difficulty in purchasing this Bluetooth module in small amount in Malaysia.
Thus in this project, the development kit which is available was chosen as Bluetooth
transceiver.
Figure 3.14: Ericsson Bluetooth Module (Eriksson, 2002)
3.5
Bluetooth Host Stack
The Bluetooth host stack referred to software stack residing in host of
Bluetooth transceiver, normally computers. However in this project, a single chip
microcontroller will be the host of Bluetooth transceiver. Although most Bluetooth
host stacks are produced commercially and may only be on computer based host,
these software stack give a good idea of how Bluetooth host stack should be
implemented. There are also some non-profit organizations developing their own
Bluetooth stacks, and distribute for free to the developing community.
following section gives an overview of such stacks.
The
59
3.5.1
C-Stack
This is a very popular Bluetooth host stack because of free license and easy to
use criteria. A few projects have developed their application using this stack. CStack is a non-profit project run by a group of engineers from Ireland. They have
published this stack in www.cstack.com site. But this site has been shutdown since
mid of 2002. There are 2 versions of Bluetooth host stack; May 2001 release and
January 2002 release. These stacks are available in Visual C++ and Visual Basic. A
few applications and demonstrations of how Bluetooth transceiver can communicate
with each other such as chatting and file transfer are developed. The first version of
this stack encapsulated the stack into an Active-X component, while the second
version encapsulated the stack in a Component Object Model (COM). The stack can
be used on Windows 32, Windows CE and Linux. The stack was written to comply
with the Bluetooth Specification and as such should be hardware independent. The
demonstration examples were documented in detail with user manual for developers
to understand the host stack Active-X or COM object function. This stack gives a
good reference on how a host stack should be developed. However, this stack has
limitation in that it was developed for OS based system, not for a microcontroller
based system. Section 2.7.1 discussed the result of investigation showing that CStack had no open source code, which made it very difficult to know what really
happens “underneath” when calling different functions. It does not support point to
multipoint communication which is important in this work. Nevertheless, some
examples from this site have been tested with Ericsson Application and Training
Tools Kit. It works perfectly fine when creating point to point connection.
3.5.2
Ericsson PC Reference Stack
The Bluetooth Application and Training Tools Kit from Sigma Teleca comes
with an Ericsson PC Reference Stack. This runs as an executable com server and
provides a Bluetooth host stack that applications can access via the Application
Programmers Interface (API) (See figure 3.15). The PC Reference Stack supports
60
RFCOMM, SDP, L2CAP and the HCI driver. It is Ericsson’s generic host stack
applied to a win32 environment.
Windows – COM client framework
COM Server Interface
Application
Application Programming Interface (API)
Windows COM server
RFCOMM SDP
L2CAP
HCI Driver
Host Stack by Ericsson
Serial Interface
HCI Firmware
Link Manager
Baseband
Radio
Bluetooth PC Reference Stack
Bluetooth Module
Bluetooth Host Stack by Ericsson
Figure 3.15: Ericsson PC Reference Stack
The HCI driver is implemented as a COM server (Naveenan, 2001). This
stack uses a proprietary protocol, the Stack Connection Manager (SCM) to handle
and administrate the Bluetooth Baseband connection. For an application to use the
Ericsson stack, it must firstly register with the SCM. This allows the application to
directly access HCI commands and receive asynchronous event.
61
3.5.3
Microcontroller Based Bluetooth Host Stack
There are other microcontroller based Bluetooth host stack such as the work
presented in section 2.7.1 and section 2.7.5. However, work discussed in section
2.7.1 aim to connect 4 Khepara robots to a computer based master host. Each
Khepara robot has two different controllers. One of the controllers is Khepara robot
main controller which process the robot control (read sensors, control motor, etc).
Another controller is developed to act as a bridge between Khepara robot main
controller and Bluetooth transceiver. This developed controller responsible to handle
all packet from Bluetooth transceiver and translate the ACL data to Khepara robot
command and send to Khepara robot.
They have chosen ATMega128L
microcontroller from Atmel as the platform.
However, there are three main
differences in their work with reference to the current developed work. Firstly,
current developed work try to implement the entire software stack one single chip
which will execute Bluetooth HCI communication (with Bluetooth transceiver) and
at the same time the microcontroller must perform robot control. These include
checking and process data receive from UART, reading sensor status, making
decision, forwarding ACL packet and etc. All these process are executed by a single
chip microcontroller.
Secondly, although the stack was implemented on a
microcontroller, the stack was developed using ANSI C programming language in
ImageCraft development environment.
Meanwhile, in current developed work,
assembly language is chosen to be the programming language. Thirdly, the host
stack on microcontroller in current developed work is not only implemented for slave
nodes, it also employed on a master node.
3.6
Discussion
Previous two sections discussed the available Bluetooth development kits in
market and Bluetooth host stack. Bluetooth transceiver from Sigma Teleca and
Motorola is chosen because of their availability. Microcontroller based Bluetooth
host stack must be developed from scratch since there is not library or ready to use
Bluetooth host stack (microcontroller) from Microchip Inc or from other
62
microcontroller manufacturer.
The selection criteria of microcontroller will be
discussed in coming chapter. As concluded in previous chapter, work was focused in
developing Bluetooth PAN for computer based mobile robot, or a network with at
least a computer based system as the master. Yet, current developed work try to
implement Bluetooth communication on a purely microcontroller based system.
Because microcontroller based system provide lower setup cost, easier installation,
lower power consumption, smaller in size and are widely used in mobile robot
research work. Furthermore, microcontroller system is sufficient to be embedded
with complex algorithms and the system performs well in research activities and
even in industrial usage. Therefore, current developed work proposed to embed
Bluetooth technology on microcontroller based system for wireless communication.
It is expected that with the embedded Bluetooth technology on microcontroller based
platform will lead mobile robot research and development to new region where a
group of smaller robot could form a PAN, communicate with each other robustly and
reliably to performance cooperative task effectively.
3.7
Summary
This chapter explains detail of Bluetooth technology. These included the
characteristic of Bluetooth hardware, capability of Bluetooth network and Bluetooth
protocol. The protocol was discussed from the lowest layer until HCI layer because
HCI play an important role in this project. HCI stack on the host (microcontroller)
provide the interface to controller the Bluetooth transceiver while gaining
information from it. Comparison on Bluetooth protocol with OSI protocol gives the
idea of how Bluetooth protocol architecture works.
CHAPTER 4
MULTIPLE ROBOTS HARDWARE DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION
Bluetooth technology provides wireless communication which is embedded
in a system. An application or platform must be prepared to provide the way to show
the wireless communication. In this work, three mobile robots are built as the
platform for Bluetooth wireless communication. This system will be a research
platform for research on multi-robot system or Bluetooth Ad Hoc networking. This
chapter presents the design and implementation of physical structure for Bluetooth
Enabled Mobile Robot – BlueBot.
4.1
Design of BlueBot – Wheeled Mobile Robot
There are other mobile robots such as AIBOT (Autonomous Intelligent
Mobile Robot) which is completely built with controller and sensors on board in
Robotics Research Laboratory of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
However, all
mobile robots available have been occupied by other research projects, therefore new
mobile robots have to be built. Generally, there are a few criteria that should be
taken in consideration during designing and implementing a mobile robot. The work
by Dennis and Michael (2003) explains that the environment which the robots are
expected to operate must be considered in the robot design and implementation.
Most robots built for robotics research work are indoor robots which is generally
wheeled robot because the design challenges are substantially fewer. Plenty of
64
exceptions exist, but because indoor robots tend to be the most common, this work
will focus on the design of indoor robots. Furthermore, the robots developed are to
provide a platform for future development and study, thus indoor robots will be a
good choice. Three mobile robots were built with slight difference design to study
and learn the heterogeneous combination of mobile robots. The design methodology
of BlueBot’s hardware is shown in Figure 4.1.
Start
Determine
Structure of
BlueBot
Determine proper motor,
batteries, microcontroller
and wheels for BlueBot
Preparing the
necessary material
Implementation of
BlueBot framework
Implementation of
BlueBot controller
Test with robot
control program
Not
functioning properly
Fine tuning of
BlueBot framework
Functioning properly
Ready for
Experiment
Figure 4.1: Design methodology of BlueBot’s hardware
65
The implementation of BlueBot begin with determining its structure, indoor
or outdoor, shape, height, size and the number of layers needed. The following step
is to study and search for proper materials to be used. These materials included
batteries, microcontroller, motor and wheel for BlueBot. After all materials are
prepared, the implementation of BlueBot framework will be started.
Once the
framework of BlueBot is ready which is completed with 3 layers and motors
mounted, the implementation of microcontroller board started. The program testing
on real hardware is necessary to ensure the hardware is operating correctly according
to program.
Besides, the testing ensures the Bluetooth transceiver could
communicate with microcontroller and the encoder feedback from motor is properly
connected. Fine tuning and modification will be performed if there is error or
inaccuracy during the program testing. The fine tuning and modification step will be
repeated until all BlueBots are ready for experiments. The specification of each
mobile robot is listed in Table 4.2 at the end of this chapter.
4.1.1
Robot Structure
Based on indoor robot design, wheels were chosen to provide the mechanism
for mobility. The indoor environment chosen was Robotic Laboratory at Faculty of
Electrical Engineering, UTM. The wheeled mobile robots move well on the surface
of the floor, although sometimes the wheels will slip because the uneven condition of
the floor. Figure 4.2 shows the physical look of three BlueBots.
The round shape of robot will minimize the possibilities for collision to
happen when mobile robot make a turn compared to other shapes. When a round
shaped mobile robot pivot (turn at it center point), the radius of mobile robot will be
maintained as before. Thus the robot will not bump to obstacle when pivoting or
turning. All three robots were designed in three layered structure with each layer
having its own functions. The bottom layer as the base of mobile robot provides the
space for motor mountings and battery housing. Batteries and motors contribute a lot
of weight, thus they are located at the bottom layer to ensure center gravity of
BlueBot is lower resulting in a more stable robot. Second layer which is also the
66
middle layer provides the space for controller and electronics devices (circuitry). In
this project, microcontroller board, motor drivers and Bluetooth transceiver are
placed in this layer. The upper layer protects the electronics devices located in the
second layer. An emergency switch for safety precaution is also mounted on the top
layer since this layer is the simplest and fastest to be reached in case of emergency.
Figure 4.2: From left, BlueBot 1, BlueBot 2 and BlueBot 3
Acrylic has been chosen as the material for these layers since it is a strong
plastic to mount motors and form a framework for mobile robot. Besides, it is half
the weight of glass which also provide transparent characteristic.
Transparent
material is important because the user could monitor the microcontroller activity
through indicator inside robot body while the framework provides the protection to
the circuitry. Aluminum plate, hollow and fasteners in various sizes are used to
mount motor and construct the body of mobile robots.
4.1.2
Motor and Gearing
Motion is one of the primary differentiators between a robot and a computer
(David, 2003). There are many different ways that robotic actuators can be built.
Most prominently these are electrical motors or pneumatic actuators with valves.
67
This section will discuss the Direct Current (DC) electrical motor which will be
mounted on the base of BlueBot to provide mobility. There are several standard DC
motors such as stepper motors and servo motors. DC electric motors are arguably
the most commonly used method for locomotion in mobile robots. DC motors are
clean, quiet, and could produce sufficient power for a variety of tasks. They are
much easier to control than pneumatic actuators which are mainly used if very high
torques are required and umbilical cords for external pressure pumps are available –
so usually is not an option for a mobile robot.
Generally, there are two kinds of DC motor, brush and brushless. The term
“brush” term in “DC brush motor” indicates that the motor has brushes. The brushes
connect directly to the battery or motor driver.
The brushes press against
commutator to make connection between the battery and armature windings. There
are a couple of downsides to brushes. First, the pressing of brushes against the rotor
adds friction, thus slowing down the motor and increasing heat. Second, the constant
making and braking (to break up with a harrow) of contacts generates electrical noise
and cause sparking. Last, but most important, the brushes will wear out. To prevent
these disadvantages, DC brushless motor is used in BlueBot.
Recall that brushes are required to make the electrical connection to the
windings because the windings are on a rotating portion of the motor.
If the
windings could be located on the stationary portion of the motor (the stator), then the
power wires could be directly affixed to the windings. Such a configuration would
eliminate the need for brushes. Since a commutator does not exist on a brushless
motor, the windings are not mechanically switched as the rotor rotates. Instead, a
sensor circuit monitors electrical current or the position of the rotor’s magnet to
electronically determine when to flip the flow. DC brushless motor applied this
concept to rotate the rotor.
The lack of brushes on a brushless motor means
dramatically increased lifespan and significant reduction in electrical noise. This
also eliminates sparking. For these reasons, brushless motor are chosen for this
project. However, brushless motor have some disadvantages. Because of the voltage
requirements of the chips and components on a brushless motor, it accepts a narrow
range (around ±20%) of voltages for motor operation. Other downsides of brushless
motor are these motors tend to be less available and more expensive.
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DC brushless motors used in BlueBot are from Oriental Motor U.S.A. Corp.
Oriental produced several kinds of motors from AC motor to DC stepping motor.
DC brushless was one of the products from Oriental. Technical details of this motor
are attached in Appendix C. This motor is a light weight, compact, 24V DC driven,
high torque with various gear ratio and fully equipped with driver which comprise of
speed control, speed output, alarm output and over current protection. Figure 4.3
shows the various type of DC brushless motor.
Figure 4.3: DC Brushless Motor from Oriental Motor U.S.A. Corp
The DC brushless motor used on BlueBot is AXH series with 3 available
output power which are 15Watt (W), 30W and 50W. The maximum speed from the
motor shaft is 3,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) and provides torque up to 2.2
Newton meter (Nm) from 30W motor coupled with 20:1 ratio gear head. With two
of this motor, BlueBot can carry load more than 50 kilogram (kg). AXH motor also
provides superior speed stability with its speed regulation variations are ±1%
maximum.
Among the reason AXH series was chosen in this project is that this type of
motor is equipped with a motor driver and therefore simplified the interfacing circuit
and provides stable yet flexible speed control. Figure 4.4 shows the picture of the
motor driver. The driver provides ports for connection from power supply which is
24V and interfacing from controller board or switches. The control signal maybe
from 5V Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) level, open collector
output or switch connection.
Appendix C.
The detail of driver’s control pins is attached in
69
Figure 4.4: Motor driver of AXH Series DC Brushless Motor
All these control pins are active low which means it will be active if it is
connected to group or given a logic 0. In order for the motor to start running, two
functions must be activated; “Start/Stop” and “Run/Brake” function must be pulled
to low. There are two options when stopping an AXH series motor, one is stopping
by inertia, while another is stopping with immediate (same as braking). “CW/CCW”
input control the direction of the driving shaft, where “CW” stands for “Clock Wise”.
“INT.VR/EXT” function control the speed selection either from voltage generated by
internal variable resistor or external DC voltage. Motor speed of BlueBot is control
by two difference external potential meter. Last but not least, “Alarm Reset” input
provides control to reset the driver. The driver provides 5 types of protection. When
one of these protection functions occurred, the driver will stop the motor and activate
a Light Emitting Diode (LED) on board to flash according to the protection function.
Another input function is the external speed voltage. The interfacing can be done
either by connecting a potential meter or supply DC voltage between 0V to 5V to
these pins. Beside input to control motor, there are 2 output signals from driver to
controller to close the motor control loop. One important signal is speed output.
This function will be used as motor encoder to calculate the distance a wheel has
moved. This function will be discussed further in Chapter 5. Another function is
Alarm Output, which will be activated when protection function occurred.
Gear ratio plays an important part when selecting motor for robots. Gears are
the most common form of power transmission for several reasons. They can be
scaled to transmit power from small battery powered watch motors, up to the power
from thousand horsepower gas turbine (Paul, 2003). With properly mounted and
70
lubricated, gears transmit power efficiently, smoothly and quietly. As stated earlier,
Oriental DC brushless motor comes with various combination of gear ratio for
different speeds, torques and encoder accuracies. A motor with high gear ratio
provides high torque and high encoder accuracy. However, it reduces the maximum
speed of the motor. BlueBot 1 was built with gear ratio of 10:1 which means the
output shaft will rotate a complete round after the motor shaft completed 10 rounds.
With this gear ratio, BlueBot 1 may move in higher speed but it will not able to carry
heavy load. Compared to BlueBot 2 and BlueBot 3 with gear ratio 20:1 which can
carry load more than 50kg, BlueBot 1 will be at weaker side. However, BlueBot 1
still can carry load up to 40kg.
4.1.3
Robot Steering Methods
Using two DC motors and two wheels is the easiest way to build a mobile
robot (Dennis and Michael, 2003). There are several ways of mounting the motors
and wheels. This section will briefly discuss these methods.
First method is Single Wheel Drive. Having a single wheel that is both
driven and steered is the simplest design for mobile robot. This design also requires
two passive caster wheels in the back, since three contact points are always required
to stabilize the mobile robot. Linear velocity and angular velocity of the robot are
completely decoupled. Thus to drive straight, the front wheel is positioned in the
middle position and driven at the desired speed. For driving in a curve, the wheel is
positioned at an angle matching the desired curve. However, this design cannot turn
on the spot. With the front wheel set to 90°, the robot will rotate about the midpoint
between the two caster wheels. The minimum turning radius is the distance between
the front wheels and midpoint of the back wheels.
demonstration of single wheel drive.
Figure 4.5 shows the
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Driving Wheel
Passive Caster Wheel
Figure 4.5: Demonstration of Single Wheel Drive
The second method was the most famous and popular method in designing
robot for competition and research work. The differential drive design has two
motors mounted in fixed positions on the left and right side of robot, independently
driving one wheel each. Since three ground contact points are necessary, this design
requires one or two additional passive caster wheels or sliders, depending on the
location of the driven wheels. Single passive wheel cannot have the driving wheels
in the middle of the robot, for stability reasons, resulting the robot will rotate about
the off center midpoint between the two driven when pivoting. Mean while, the
design with two passive wheels or sliders, one each in front and at the back of robot,
allows rotation about the center of the robot. However, this design can introduce
surface contact problems, because it is using four contact points (Thomas, 2003).
Figure 4.6 demonstrates the driving actions of a differential drive robot. When both
motors run at the same speed, the robot drives straight forward or backward. If one
motor is faster than another, the robot drives in a curve along the arc of a circle, and
if both motors are run at the same speed in opposite directions, the robot turns on the
spot of pivoting.
72
Driving Wheel
Passive Caster Wheel
Figure 4.6: Demonstration of Differential Drive (Thomas, 2003)
The third design will be tracked drive robot. A tracked mobile robot can be
seen as a special case of a wheeled robot with differential drive. In fact, the only
difference is the robot’s better maneuverability in rough terrain and its higher friction
in turns, due to its tracks and multiple points of contact with the surface. Figure 4.7
shows the tracked mobile robot used by Henrik et al. (2001).
Figure 4.7: Tracked Mobile Robot (Henrik et al., 2001)
Normally, a tracked vehicle would have two driving motors, one for each
track.
There are numerous application scenarios for tracked robots with local
intelligence. A very important one is the use as a “rescue robot” in disaster areas
(Thomas, 2003).
73
The fourth design is Synchro-Drive. This design is an extension to the robot
design with a single driven and steered wheel. Here three-wheel design will be
discussed. The three wheels are rotated together so they always point in the same
driving direction. This can be accomplished, for example, by using a single motor
and a chain for steering and single motor for driving all three wheels. Therefore,
overall a synchro-drive robot still has only two degrees of freedom. This kind of
robot is almost a holonomous vehicle, in the sense that it can drive in any desired
direction (for this reason it usually has a cylindrical body shape). However, the robot
has to stop and realign its wheels when going from driving forward to driving
sideways (Thomas, 2003).
The fifth design is Ackermann steering. This design is based on the standard
drive and steering system of an automobile. Automobile used two combined driven
rear wheels and two combined steered front wheels. This design has an advantage
when driving straight since the rear wheels are driven via a common axis. But the
vehicle cannot turn on the spot, and requires a certain minimum radius to make the
turn, while the rear driving wheels will experience slippage. Linear velocity and
angular velocity are completely decoupled since they are generated by independent
motors. Example of this design in mobile robot is robot soccer from the University
of Auckland (Thomas, 2003).
From all the designs discussed, differential drive design was implemented on
BlueBot. This design has been proven to be simple to implement yet reliable for
research works. The combination of two driven wheels allows the robot to be driven
straight, in a curve, or to turn on the spot.
4.2
PIC18F458 Controller Board
There are many available embedded controllers available in the market such
as Handy Board (Martin, 1999), EyeCon (Thomas, 2003), BasicStamp, Basic Atom,
BrainStem, LEGO RCX Brick and single chip solutions (Pete, 2002). They come in
different shapes, sizes, and capabilities. The user manual of each controller which
74
specific details about the capabilities, software, programming instructions and
sample programs could be found at corresponding website. There are many more
types of controllers than those listed in this thesis, to cover all those controllers, it
could fill an entire thesis, thus this section will briefly discuss a few selected
controllers.
Parallax basic Stamp modules are one of the oldest and widely used standalone microcontroller modules on the market.
Basic Stamp module has a
microcontroller chip, clock oscillator, voltage regulator, Electrically Erasable
Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM), and various other support
components, all located on a single 0.6 x 1.2 inch, 24 pins module. Figure 4.8 shows
two different popular modules.
There are several different Basic Stamp (BS)
modules which have several subtle differences between each of the modules.
Microcontroller chip from Microchip and Ubicom are used in different module. The
programming language used is also different among the modules. Java and Basic
Stamp editor can be used to develop the software.
Figure 4.8: Basic Stamp 2 module (left) and Basic Stamp 2p module (right) (Pete,
2002)
The Handy Board, another product developed by Fred Martin of MIT
(Martin, 1999), was developed to be a general-purpose robotic microcontroller. It
uses a 2 MHz Motorola 68HC11 as the core microcontroller, with 32 Kbytes of
Random Access-Memory (RAM). Figure 4.9 shows the plan view of Handy Board.
There are several digital I/O and analog inputs. Handy Board has four built-in motor
controllers using L293D motor driver circuits. It also has a built-in 16 by 2 character
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) for displaying data and robot status. Interactive C is
75
used to write, compile and download program to Handy Board. Interactive C can
support 32-bit integer and floating-point numbers and advanced mathematic
functions. Furthermore, Interactive C programming language is a full multitasking
environment that can be used to monitor several different sensors and control
multiple motors at the same time.
Figure 4.9: Handy Board (Martin, 1999).
All of the controllers listed in this section have a single chip microcontroller
at their core. When building robots, microcontroller can be either a prepackaged
controller board/ module, or it can be a single chip microcontroller. Among all
controllers discussed, only Handy Board is available at Robotics Research
Laboratory in UTM. In this laboratory, several mobile robots are built with Handy
Board as it main controller (brain). Although Handy Board is a powerful and ready
to use tool, there are a few reasons why Handy Board is not chosen in this work. The
most important reason is that there is no more Handy Boards available in this
laboratory. Secondly, the maximum baud rate of Handy Board could not reach
57600 kbps with 2 MHz clock which is not high enough to communicate with
Bluetooth transceiver from Sigma Teleca.
With these reasons, another
microcontroller board has to be design and built to control mobile robot and as
Bluetooth host. A core microcontroller has to be chosen from various types and
models that are available in the market. Comparison has been carried out to choose
the suitable microcontroller. The report from Microchip Technology Inc. (1997)
76
presents a good performance comparison among six types of single chip
microcontroller. However, only three types of microcontroller which are popular
among robot builders are discussed. They are AT90S8535 from Atmel, PIC18F458
from Microchip and MC68HC11 from Motorola.
The AT90S8535 (Atmel Corporation, 2001) is an 8-bit Reduced Instruction
Set Computer (RISC) microcontroller with 8 Kbytes of FLASH memory. The RISC
architecture uses a highly optimized set of instruction, leading to faster code
execution. The AVR UART operates at 57,600 bps with a 3.6864 MHz crystal
attached. This data rate is necessary for error free communication with the Bluetooth
module. At an operating frequency of 4 MHz, power consumption is 6.4 mA. Low
power mode achieves 1.6 mA of power consumption.
The PIC18F458 (Microchip Technology Inc, 2003) is an 8-bit RISC
microcontroller with 32 Kbytes of FLASH program memory and 1.5 Kbytes of data
memory. Its RISC implementation also leads to faster execution time, and its low
power design lends itself to small, embedded devices. There are four timer/counter
modules which can be used for motor encoders and timing subroutines. Priority
interrupts could be used for interrupt serial communication. PIC18F458 has 35 I/O
pins which are enough for all motor driver and sensor interfacing. This chip’s UART
engine can reliably interface to the Bluetooth module at 57,600 bps with 11.0592
MHz crystal. In-circuit programming support exists for PIC18F458. Bootloader
program can be used to program this chip without the help of universal programmer.
This advantage enabled this chip easy to be used and popular among robotics
developers. More details of this microcontroller will be discussed in next section.
There are a few series of microcontroller in this family, MC68HC11E1,
MC68HC11A1 and MC68HC11A8 (Motorola Inc., 2003). This chip is an 8-bit
microcontroller, with 512 bytes of program memory (EEPROM). This is small by
current standards. Its power consumption exceeds 27 mA when operating at 3 Mhz.
The Serial Communications Interface (SCI) provided was unable to cope with the
default baud rate of the Bluetooth module (57,600 bps) without an external UART
chip. Handy Board used MC68HC11A1, and the serial communication problem was
one of the reasons it is not chosen in this project.
77
The main microcontroller selection criteria constituted low power
consumption, sufficient program memory and ease for development. Both the PIC
and AVR devices provided low power consumption (See Table 4.1). Large program
memory was a necessity to ensure that the protocol stack would fit on the
microcontroller. The simplicity of the development environment was a key factor to
ensuring fast prototyping.
Integrated Development Environment (MPLAB IDE)
from Microchip is a powerful development tool complete with source code editor,
assembler, linker, simulator, debugger and even programmer all together. Thus it is
a one-stop software for source code development needs.
Besides this, it also
supports third party add-on to extend its compiler capabilities. The PICC Lite is one
of the add-on that can be used together with Microchip IDE. MPLAB IDE is a free
product of Microchip Inc. and is an effort to make source code development as
smooth and comprehensive as possible.
Furthermore, Microchip Inc offers
microcontroller samples for developers. Although the amount is only three units
each model, users may reapply for sample after 40 days. This is one of the main
reason microcontroller from Microchip are popular among researchers. Besides,
there are a lot of free source codes available at its website. ICPROG and Bootloader
are some of the example tools which simplified the process to download program and
save development cost of the entire work.
Another added advantage is the
comprehensive online support by Microchip Inc. at www.microchip.com, which
offers up-to-date information and technical support (personally rated top for online
resource and support). Thus PIC microcontroller was chosen in this work. Figure
4.10 shows the outlook of the PIC18F458 controller board developed.
Figure 4.10: BlueBot Microcontroller Board
78
Table 4.1: Feature comparison of 8-bit microcontrollers
Processor
Frequency
Memory
68HC11 family
3 MHz
512 bytes
EEPROM
512 bytes RAM
8-bit
ADC
UART (max baud)
Power Consumption
27mA (active) at
5V
AT90S8535
4 MHz
PIC18F458
4 - 40 MHz
8 Kbytes Flash
32 Kbytes Flash
768 bytes EEPROM
256 bytes EEPROM
768 bytes RAM
1.5 Kbytes RAM
10-bit
115,200 bps (3.6864
MHz)
10-bit
>115,200 bps (11.0592
MHz)
6.4mA (active) at 3V
<0.6 mA (active) at 3V
1.6mA (idle) at 3V
Operating range
Package
In-circuit
programming
Development Tools
3.0 - 5.5 V
4.0 - 6.0 V
2.0 - 5.5 V
52-pin PLCC
40-pin DIP
40-pin DIP
44-pin TQFP
No
ASM - Free
Yes
Codevision - USD$90
STK200 Board AUS$79.00
Yes
MPLAB - Free
The full schematic of PIC18F458 microcontroller board developed is attached
in Appendix D. The board is supplied with two 12V Sealed Lead Acid batteries that
are connected serially to offer total voltage of 24V. The power source will be used
for two 24V DC brushless motor, 12V for Infrared proximity sensors and the circuit
board. A voltage regulator (7805) is used to provide stable voltage of 5V for the
microcontroller circuitry. Two double terminals single pole switches were mounted
on the board to close the power source loop for microcontroller and DC brushless
motors. A ten bar LED display was used as indicator of the microcontroller program
to ease the user to debug the program developed. The crystal clock selected is
11.0592 MHz because with this frequency, the baud rate generated, 9600 kbps and
57600 kbps for USART communication with Bluetooth transceiver is error free.
Four push buttons were mounted on board for user to provide manual input signal.
One push button will be the reset button, while the other three will be inputs for
program developed.
Two standard serial ports (DB9), female and male were
mounted for the physical cable connected of serial communication. One of the serial
ports is used for communication between microcontroller and Bluetooth transceiver,
79
while another for computer serial communication such as bootloader (loading
program from computer serially).
4.2.1
PIC18F458 Microcontroller
There are a few reasons why PIC18F458 was chosen among all PIC
microcontroller series.
One important criteria was this model is the high
performance microcontroller with largest memory space and provides many special
features such as four timer/counter, priority levels for interrupts and Controller Area
Network (CAN) capability. All these advantages come in without short-changing in
performance. The program counter of PIC18F series are 21-bit which can point to
the address of 1FFFFFH (Hexadecimal) or 2097151D (Decimal) (2 Mbytes) bytes of
program memory. Compared to PIC16F which uses 13-bit program counter, it can
only reach to 1FFFH or 8191D (8 Kwords) of program memory.
However,
Microchip only implemented 32 Kbytes of program memory on the biggest program
memory type in PIC18F series. PIC18F microcontroller series provide 2 levels of
interrupt priority, each with its own interrupt vector. This feature simplified the
program development where it does not need to clarify which interrupt to service.
The return address stack of PIC18F series comprise of 31 levels (more level can store
more return address for CALL function) and functions as a linear buffer, while
PIC16F series have only 8 levels on this stack and functions as circular buffer
(Microchip Technology Inc., 2002a).
Microchip PIC microcontrollers use Harvard architecture which means the
chip divided the memory into two parts, program memory and data memory. The
devices also use separate buses to communicate with it own memory map. This
architecture allows for some enhancements. For instance, instructions may be sized
differently than 8 bit-wide data.
PIC18F458 offers five I/O port comprising of 35 I/O pins. They are:
•
Port A – 8 I/O pins
•
Port B – 8 I/O pins
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•
Port C – 8 I/O pins
•
Port D – 8 I/O pins
•
Port E – 3 I/O pins
Besides being digital input and output, these pins are multiplexed with other
features. For example, port A is multiplexed with analog input and some pins of Port
C are multiplexed with serial communication pins.
4.2.2
Serial Communication Interface
Serial communication is required for microcontroller to communicate with
Bluetooth transceiver, sending commands as well as receiving events. Bluetooth
transceiver supports two standard communications with its host, Universal Serial Bus
(USB) and RS232 which is ready to be used on a computer based system.
PIC18F458 microcontroller does not support USB; it only supports 3 other serial
communication standards which are USART, Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C) and
Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI). In fact there are only some differences between
RS232 and USART. One common difference is the logic voltage level. Thus
interfacing between two ends will be essential to enable Bluetooth transceiver to
communicate with microcontroller serially. MAX232 from Maxim is one of the
most popular chips used to provide this interface. Figure 4.11 shows the connection
using MAX232.
RS232 defines voltage levels on the transmission lines. The RS232 logic 0
voltage is +3V to +12V, and logic 1 is -3V to -12V. Any voltage between these
levels is undefined. USART defines its logic with Transistor-transistor Logic (TTL)
level. A TTL asynchronous serial is not inverted like RS232. A TTL serial logic 0 is
0.8V or lower, and logic 1 is 2.4V or higher (Pete, 2002).
Computer serial
communication is in RS232 standard. Thus Bluetooth transceiver is ready to plug on
to computer by just a serial cable for communication. Modern computer equipment
ignores the negative level and accepts a zero voltage level as the logic 1. In fact, the
logic 0 may be achieved with smaller positive potential. However, microcontroller
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serial communication is driven by TTL or CMOS level, which is 5V for logic 1 and
0V for logic 0.
Figure 4.11: MAX232 Connection between computer and microcontroller
(Microchip Technology Inc., 2002b).
The hardware requirement is extremely straightforward. Only Transmit and
Receive pins need to be cross connected. In simple words, receive pin (RxD) at one
end must be connected to transmit pin (TxD) the other end. Of course the line must
go through MAX232 to convert the logic level. While Ground (Gnd) signal of both
ends must be shared (connected directly) for voltage level reference. Ready To Send
(RTS) and Clear To Send (CTS) will be ignored by connecting these two pins
together. RTS and CTS are used for handshaking serial communication.
4.2.3
Bootloader
Bootloader is used to quickly download a new program into a microcontroller
with the help of serial communication from a computer. The program in HEX file
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format can be loaded to chip without an expensive universal programmer and
without taking the chip out from the board. This simplified the overall research work
because it will be tremendously time and energy consuming if the chip have to be
removed from the board for each test of a new program. Moreover, removing the
chip from its IC socket is not a simple job. If care is not taken, the chip may be
damaged.
Bootloader circuitry is easily performed in-circuit, with the PIC
microcontroller plugged into IC socket and all the other circuitry connected to the
microcontroller. No modification to the circuit board is required for the bootloader
implementation.
Only an extra serial port connector is required for the
microcontroller board to be connected to computer because another serial port
connector has been used for serial communication with Bluetooth transceiver.
There are a lot of bootloaders for PIC microcontroller developed by
researches and hobbyists, but bootloader from Microchip. Inc was chosen to be
implemented in this work.
The hardware requirement is very simple.
No
handshaking is required in this bootloader. The microcontroller and computer are
ready to be connection using a standard serial cable. Of course there must be a
program (firmware) on microcontroller ready to receive data from its USART buffer
and stack into its program memory. To send the HEX file to microcontroller through
serial communication, a program is also necessary on the computer. The details of
bootloader software will be discussed in next chapter.
4.2.4
Motor Driver Interface
As stated in section 4.1.2, Oriental DC Brushless motors are used on
BlueBot. This motor comes with driver which simplified the interfacing circuitry
and also the program to control the motor. To control the motor, minimum of 4 pins
are required for each driver.
These pins will control four functions which are
“Start/Stop”, “Run/Brake”, “CCW/CW” and “Int.VR/Ext”. The function of these
pins has been discussed in section 4.1.2. Eight I/O pins at Port B from PIC18F458
are used to control these driver inputs. Upper nibble (MSB) of Port B controls 4
inputs of left motor driver, while another lower nibble controls right motor driver.
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An 8-way DIP switch is added between Port B and each driver for speed calibration.
As stated in technical detail of motor (Appendix C), besides TTL or CMOS logic,
switch can be used to control the driver input functions. Therefore each driver input
was connected to DIP which enable user to optionally connect these driver inputs to
microcontroller or to ground directly.
4.3
Batteries
If microcontroller represents the brain of a robot, batteries will signify the
heart of the robot. The batteries must be able to provide all of the power that the
robot needs, when the robot needs it. The power requirements for field robots,
especially for competition robots really push battery technologies to their limits.
When choosing the battery type for a robot, a few criteria have to be taken in
consideration.
The size, voltage, weight, power capacities of the battery and
rechargeable capability were some of the criteria. This section will briefly outline
the differences between batteries and it advantages and disadvantages. Finally the
battery type chosen for BlueBot will be decided.
There are many different types of battery technologies available in the
market. These include:
•
Alkaline
•
Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd)
•
Nickel-Metal-Hydride (NiMH)
•
Sealed Lead-Acid
•
Lithium
•
Hydrogen Fuel Cells
•
Nuclear
The alkaline (actually is alkaline-manganese) battery is probably the most
commonly used battery in the world. They are used to power many of the portable
products today, from calculators to personal digital assistants, from flashlights to
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compact disc players, and from radios to most electronic toys.
The biggest
advantages of alkaline battery are their wide availability and their relative low startup
cost. While for the disadvantage, these batteries have highest internal resistance
compared to other battery types. Although alkaline batteries have a very high energy
density, they perform very poorly under high current draw applications. Thus they
should be used to power robot’s microcontroller circuit which is low current
consumption.
Nickel-Cadmium batteries have been commercially available since 1950 and
have become a very mature technology.
They operate very well in abusive
environments. One of the main advantages of NiCd batteries is they can tolerate
very high discharge currents, up to 20 times of their rated capacity, without suffering
and damage to performance. These batteries can be cycled (charged/discharged)
more than 1,000 times, which make them the most effective rechargeable solution.
However, they have to be fully discharged before charging to avoid memory effect
from taking place. Another drawback is that NiCd batteries have a relatively fast
self-discharge rate, it can lose up to 20 percent of their charge every month in
storage. Moreover, cadmium is considered a toxic material, NiCd batteries should
not be disposed of in the regular trash.
Nickel-Metal-Hydride (NiMH) batteries are a relative newcomer to the
battery market. NiMH development started in the 1970s as a method of storing
hydrogen gas in a nickel-metal matrix for satellite and automotive power
applications. NiMH batteries have the energy densities that are 30 to 40 percent
higher than NiCd batteries, and they do not exhibit any of the memory-effect
problem. Furthermore they are environmentally safe. The disadvantages of NiMH
batteries are that they require special battery chargers, their total cycle life is about
one to third that of NiCd batteries, and their self-discharge rate is the fastest of all the
rechargeable batteries. They can lose up to 30 percent of their charge every month.
Sealed-Lead Acid (SLA) battery is the first rechargeable battery.
SLA
batteries have very high amp-hour capacities and can tolerate high discharge
currents, up to ten times their rated capacities for short durations. They do not suffer
any memory-effect, and they do not require any electrolytes to be refilled. They
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have extremely low self-discharge rate, approximately 5 percent per month. The
only biggest drawbacks of SLA batteries are that they are fairly large and heavy.
Furthermore, they are considered environmentally unfriendly and must be disposed
of at proper disposal facilities.
Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) and Lithium-Ion-Polymer batteries are relatively new to
the commercial battery market. The single cell voltage for a Li-ion battery is three
times greater than a NiCd or NiMH battery cell, and energy density is approximately
twice that of a NiCd battery. These types of batteries also have a low self-discharge
rate of only 10 percent per month. A drawback to Li-ion batteries is that they have a
finite life that is independent of how much time battery is used. Battery performance
starts to degrade after one year. Furthermore, abusing these batteries will result in
metallic lithium building up inside the batteries. Metallic lithium is a very dangerous
material to handle. Thus Li-ion battery packs have their own built-in circuit to
control charging and discharging of the batteries.
From all these batteries types, Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries were chosen
to provide the power for robot. SLA batteries have a low self-discharging rate which
is suitable for mobile robot because user do not need to charge it often. The robot
may be kept in static for quite a long time yet still ready to operate. Although the
weight of batteries are relatively heavier than other batteries, it will not be a problem
since the mobile robot can carried load up to 50kg. Furthermore, SLA batteries can
tolerate high discharge currents which are suitable for actuators on the mobile robot
such as driving motor and robotics arm (future development).
Besides, SLA
batteries are relatively cheaper than the other rechargeable batteries types. Two
batteries with 7Ah, 12V each will be serially connected to provide 24V for DC
brushless motor, microcontroller board and Bluetooth transceiver. SLA batteries will
supply sufficient power for the entire electronics circuitry on the robot.
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4.4
Wheels
Though wheeled mobile robots are most commonly built, finding good
wheels is often a difficult task for robot builder. A big part of the robot design
process is the selection of the wheels. The diameter of the wheel has a great
influence on the apparent motor torque and speed of the robot. In general, as wheel
diameter increases, so does the speed of robot; however, the torque decreases.
Another important criterion of choosing a wheel is the material it is made out of. If
the robot is used on flat hard surface, the wheels with high traction will be good
choice. However, sometimes, experiments would be the best way to find the right
wheel for the robot (Dennis and Michael, 2003). Thus in this work, three mobile
robots with three different types of wheel were built. Relative advantages of these
wheels will be discussed at the end of this section. Introduction to the wheels
available commercially in the market will be a good start for choosing suitable
wheels. Nearly an infinite number of resources for wheels are available. This
section will introduce some of these wheels, including their characteristics and their
suitability for robot application.
Radio-Control (R/C) car industry provides a good source for wheels. Two of
the most popular R/C car manufacturers are Tamiya and Nikko. R/C car wheels are
hollow rubber tires mounted to a rim, similar to regular automobile tires. However,
these tires do not get filled with air to inflate them. Instead, they are filled with foam
inserts to increase their internal “pressure” or firmness; the denser the foam inserts
material, the firmer the tire. Figure 4.12 shows some R/C car wheels. These wheels
can be anything from 5 cm to 15 cm or larger in diameter. They can be as narrow as
a poker chip to as wide as human’s palm. These wheels are made with a variety of
tread materials for a variety of driving surface, vehicle weights, and styles. Foam
wheels are one of the R/C car wheels. These wheels have better road traction and are
very suitable for robot application because higher traction minimize the wheels from
slipping which may end up the miscount of the encoder.
Model airplane wheels are popular choices for sumo robot (Pete, 2003).
These wheels are made out of a dense, lightweight foam with simple plastic hubs that
snap together. They come in a wide variety of wheel sizes, with diameters ranging
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from 3 cm to 15 cm and width from 1.25 cm to 3.5 cm. There are two kinds of these
wheels, one is from Dubro®, and another is from Dave Brown®. Dave brown wheels
are very light that get good traction on rough surfaces like carpeting and pavement.
Figure 4.12: R/C Car Wheels
Another good source for wheels is construction sets, such as LEGO kits
wheels. These wheels come in many different types and sizes. They also come with
mounting hardware to attach them to frames and gears in fairly straight forward
manner.
Although there are a lot of wheels available in the market that are fit for
wheeled mobile robots, the method of mounting the wheels and the easiness to
purchase the wheels would be the main considerations in this project. The book by
Dennis and Michael (2003), and Pete (2002) described plenty of techniques for
mounting wheels to motors. BlueBot 1 is the biggest robot among three mobile
robots built. Beside the diameter of the robot is larger than the others, the size of the
wheels are also the biggest. Rubber Tyred Wheels from RS Components Sdn. Bhd
are made up of rubber and centered with plastic. There are two sizes of wheels
available. One is with diameter of 20 cm and width of 5 cm, and another type comes
with diameter of 12.5 cm and 3.8 cm width. BlueBot 1 used the big size wheels
while BlueBot 2 used smaller size wheels. Figure 4.13 shows the picture of these
wheels mounted on BlueBot 1 and BlueBot 2.
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Figure 4.13: Rubber Tyred Wheel on BlueBot 1 (right) and BlueBot 2 (left)
BlueBot 3 used foam R/C car foam wheels with the diameter of 7.0 cm and
width of 3.5 cm. This wheel gives a very high accuracy when using encoder to
calculate the distance and robot angle because of its high traction which minimizes
the slip problem. With smaller wheel perimeter and high gear ratio, an encoder unit
represents very small displacement of the robot. This is one of the reasons BlueBot 3
have a good performance when controlling the coordination of the robots. Figure
4.14: shows the R/C foam wheel on BlueBot 3.
Figure 4.14: R/C Foam Wheel on BlueBot 3
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4.5
Infrared Proximity Sensor
Sensor in robotics is used to detect a phenomenon or occurrence in the
environment (Stan Gibilisco, 2002). There are varieties of sensors used in robotics
applications such as tactical sensors, infrared sensors, sonar ranging sensor, digital
compass, camera (vision), color sensors and etc. These sensors can be applied in
various fields of application. They are useful for correcting a robot motion, for
supervision of an assembly, for detection of the presence of objects (prevention of
collisions) and for detection and recognition of the position of an object (Schweinzer,
1989).
However, only infrared proximity sensor is used on BlueBot for basic
obstacle sensing.
Additional sensors may be attached on BlueBot with simple
modification. In this work, each robot can be equipped with infrared proximity
sensor, model CX-22. There are two interfacing ports mounted on the PIC18F458
controller board for this sensor. The ports are ready to be plugged with this sensor.
However, the sensor is not attached on each BlueBot because only certain BlueBot
will be equipped with sensor for experimental purpose in Chapter 6. This infrared
sensor used infrared LED to transmit infrared light and have an infrared receiver to
detect the reflection. It can sense obstacle with reflective surface between 10 cm
(minimum) and 80 cm (maximum). The data sheet of this sensor is attached in
Appendix E. This sensor can be attached in the front of each BlueBot to provide
obstacle sensing capabilities. Figure 4.15 shows an infrared sensor placed at the
front part on second layer of BlueBot 2.
Figure 4.15: Infrared Proximity Sensor on BlueBot 2 (yellow circle)
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4.6
Difference between BlueBots
As stated, 3 mobile robots were built.
This section will outline the
differences between these robots as shown in Table 4.2. These include the size of
robots, the size of wheels; DC brushless motor power, size and gear ratio.
Table 4.2: Physical characteristic of BlueBot
Features
Shape
Diameter
Height
Weight
Layer
Battery type
Bluetooth
Transceiver
Controller
Emergency switch
Sensor
Wheel type
Wheel diameter
Wheel width
Motor type
Motor power
Gear ratio
Maximum Speed
Maximum Load
BlueBot 1
Round
40.0 cm
41.0 cm
15.60 kg
3
Sealed Lead
Acid
BlueBot 2
Round
30.5 cm
40.0 cm
11.10 kg
3
Sealed Lead
Acid
BlueBot 3
Round
30.5 cm
40.0 cm
10.15 kg
3
Sealed Lead
Acid
Motorola
Motorola
Sigma Teleca
PIC18F458
Yes
Infrared
Rubber
20.0 cm
5.0 cm
DC brushless
50W
10
3.00 m/s
40 kg
PIC18F458
Yes
Infrared
Rubber
12.5 cm
3.8 cm
DC brushless
30W
20
1.00 m/s
50 kg
PIC18F458
Yes
Infrared
R/C foam
7.0 cm
3.5 cm
DC brushless
30W
20
0.57 m/s
50 kg
From Table 4.2, BlueBot1 is the heaviest robot among the other two robots,
but it was built using the highest power DC brushless motor. The large wheels and
low gear ratio of BlueBot 1 enabled it to move in faster speed, but give low accuracy
for encoder value. Meanwhile low gear ratio provides lower torque compared to
high gear ratio. Although BlueBot 2 is mounted with bigger wheels compared to
BlueBot 1, it still could carry loads up to 50 kg excluding its own weight because of
its high gear ratio. Among three BlueBots, BlueBot 3 offers high accuracy of
encoder value and carries the heaviest load. BlueBots were built to carry heavy load
because future development is taken into consideration. Works and studies may be
91
carried out on cooperative tasks such as carrying large and heavy objects using this
platform. SLA batteries will supply a stable power source and suitable for future
development if any actuator (robotics arm, servo motor, etc) is needed to add on
BlueBots. SLA batteries are able to provide sufficient current for extra application.
Furthermore, SLA batteries may last for longer compared to other battery types
because of its low self discharge rate. Thus the BlueBots may ready to operate after
long time of storage (static).
4.7
Summary
This chapter elucidates the concept behind building Bluetooth Enabled
Mobile Robot – BlueBot. The concepts and materials used to build BlueBots from
scratch which includes robot structure, motor, gear, steering method, microcontroller,
battery, wheels and sensor are included and explained in details.
Wireless
connection is hard to be a convincing development because it is embedded in a
system, therefore hardware have to be used to prove there are wireless connection. A
software development may seem impressing with graphics user interface and
functions, but these will not work without a physical body. All robot applications
come in two part, mechanical part and software part. In other words, mechanical part
will be the body of robot while software part will represented by robot control
architecture embedded in the “brain” of robot. Studies have been carried out to
determine the suitable size, weight, height and also the shape of BlueBots. Besides
that, times have been spent to verify the type of microcontroller, battery, wheel that
is suitable for BlueBot.
CHAPTER 5
MULTI ROBOT PAN SOFTWARE ARCHIRTECTURE
Chapter 4 discussed the design and implementation of BlueBot physical
structure in detail. This chapter will discuss the software design and development in
detail. A complete system is realized using hardware and software (Margrette et al.,
2001).
After the physical framework of BlueBot was built, software must be
developed and loaded into controller board in order for BlueBot to work. The
software developed is divided into two types. One type of software is loaded on the
host of Bluetooth transceiver which acts as master (microcontroller on BlueBot 1) of
the BlueBot PAN, and the other two BlueBots’ program will be configured to act as
slaves. Thus there are slight differences between the program on BlueBot 1 and the
program on the other two BlueBots.
The design methodology of software implementation is shown in Figure 5.1.
It starts with choosing appropriate programming language. The next step is to
develop transmit and receive ISR (Interrupt Service Routine) to ensure the
communication between host (microcontroller) and Bluetooth transceiver is ready
and reliable. Bluetooth HCI stack will be implemented after the both ISRs are
working properly.
The following step is to establish BlueBot’s PAN with the
software development, testing the HCI stack and also communication between
BlueBots. Robot controls which include controlling DC brushless motor on each
BlueBot and reading encoder value will be implemented after the establishment of
BlueBot’s PAN. Experiments are necessary to validate the combination of 3
93
BlueBots. Experiments will only be setup after all robot controls is implemented. If
there are errors occur during experiments, it must be fixed.
Start
Choose
Program Language
Develop Receive and
Transmit ISR
Develop
Bluetooth HCI Stack
Establish
BlueBot’s PAN
Develop
Robot Control
Not Success
Experiments
Success
Completed
Figure 5.1: Design methodology of BlueBot software implementation
5.1
PIC Assembly Language and Microchip MPLAB IDE
Assembly language was chosen to develop and implement the software on
BlueBot. The overall system is microcontroller based where no computer host would
be involved, thus a microcontroller development language should be used. There are
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three choices of development language for PIC18F series of microcontroller, which
are PICC-18 compiler from Hi-Tech, C-18 compiler from Microchip and Assembly
language.
Both C compiler from Hi-Tech and Microchip were sold with the price of
more than RM 2,000.00. While for assembly language, it is distributed free by
Microchip Inc. There are arguments going around regarding assembly language
compared to C compiler, where some developers proved that assembly language is
much faster. Furthermore, the use of assembly language could optimize memory
space and access all hardware functions and configuration. C compiler maybe faster
for developing program which consume more memory space such as program that
used more than 8 Kbytes of memory, and to develop sophisticated program such as
game which involve graphic and image processing.
In this project, HCI stack is embedded on the microcontroller which should
be small in memory size, thus assembly code is more suitable.
assembly code is easy to understand and learn.
Furthermore,
With assembly language, the
programmer has the full access to all hardware functions. When it comes to interrupt
handling, USART, timer and counter, assembly language have the advantage because
it can access configuration and register easily and faster. Even when writing timing
delay, assembly language will have advantage again C language. The main reason of
choosing assembly language is because this development tool is easy to get and it is
freely distributed. Furthermore, a lot of examples and applications developed are in
assembly codes.
However, developing Bluetooth HCI and robot control using
assembly language is not done by any project reviewed as described in Chapter 2.
Therefore, this is a very challenging work.
Pointers for array, hardware
configurations and registers have to be handled with extra care.
Combination of both assembly and C language are better compared to if only
one of these languages is used. Since the C compiler is not available, only assembly
language is used to develop the HCI stack and the robot control program. The full
source codes of three BlueBots are saved in a folder named “Source Codes” attached
in Appendix F (CD).
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Although assembly language is used to develop the codes, a compiler is
essential to compile the written code to HEX file format in order to download to
microcontroller. MPLAB IDE was mentioned is section 4.2, a development tools
complete with code editor (Assembly or C), assembler, linker (link assembly code
with C file, or header file to other file), simulator and debugger. MPLAB IDE is a
free product from Microchip Inc. This program and its user manual can be easily
downloaded at www.microchip.com and installed. Figure 5.2 shows the layout of
Microchip MPLAB IDE development tool.
Figure 5.2: Microchip MPLAB IDE (Microchip Technology Inc., 2003b)
A “MPLAB Quick Start” can be downloaded at www.microchip.com.
Following sections will explain the functions developed on the microcontroller in
detail. Since assembly language is used to develop the software, all subroutines
including easiest routine such as timing delays to complex routines such as serial
communication, mathematic functions, Bluetooth HCI stack and encoder function
have to be developed from scratch. This is because there are no library functions
provided in assembly language. The full features of assembly language can be
referred to the data sheet of PIC18FXX8 (Microchip Technology Inc, 2003a).
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5.2
Bootloader
Section 4.2.3 has presented the hardware implementation of bootloader for
PIC18F458. It seems a lot easier for hardware implementation compared to software
implementation. A bootloader program must exist on both computer host and the
microcontroller chip. Bootloader program on host computer will be responsible to
send file in hex format to the chip through serial line with correct baud rate. On the
other hand, the chip must be able to enter “boot mode” waiting to receive file from
host computer and program itself. There are a lot of bootloader program developed
by hobbyists and engineers for PIC series microcontroller. However, bootloader
from Microchip Inc. was chosen because it will be more reliable since it was
developed by microcontroller manufacturer.
Among many features built into
Microchip’s Enhanced Flash Microcontroller devices is the capability of the program
memory to self program, and this process is named “bootloading” (Microchip
Technology Inc, 2002b). Devices like PIC18F458 are designed with a designated
“boot block”, a small section of protectable program memory allocated specifically
for bootloader firmware.
Figure 5.3 summarizes the essential firmware design of the bootloader. Data
is received through the USART module, configured in Asynchronous mode for
compatibility with RS232 and passed through the transmit/receive engine.
The
engine filters and parses the data, storing the information into a data buffer in RAM.
The command interpreter evaluates the command information within the buffer to
determine what should be done (i.e. Is the data written into a memory unit? Is data
read from a memory unit? Does the firmware version need to be read?). Once the
operation is performed, data is passed back to the transmit/receive engine to be
transmitted back to the source, closing the software flow control loop.
The USART module on microcontroller is configured as UART to be
compatible with RS232 communications and serial data format is set to 8 data bits,
no parity and 1 stop bit. Baud rate can be variable and can be change on the host
computer; however, there is not modification needed for the bootloader firmware on
microcontroller because it provides “auto baud rate generation” function. Bootloader
firmware will consume program memory from 0000H to 0200H which is 512 bytes
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of program memory (boot block).
Since RESET vector (0000H) and interrupt
vectors (0008H and 0018H) lie within the boot area, they are remapped through
software to the nearest parallel location outside the boot block. Figure 5.4 shows the
remapped vector and boot block area in PIC18F series of microcontroller.
RX
TX
Bootloader Firmware
Transmit/Receive
Engine
USART
RAM Buffer
Data Bus
FLASH
Program
Memory
Control
Command
Interpreter
EE Data
Memory
Configuration
Register
Figure 5.3: Overview of bootloader firmware
Boot Program
0200H
High Priority Interrupt Vector
0208H
Low Priority Interrupt vector
0218H
Program Memory
User memory Space
RESET Vector
7FFFH
Figure 5.4: Program memory re-mapped of PIC18F series microcontroller
98
Data is transmitted to or from the device in basic packet format shown in
Figure 5.5. Where each “<…>” represents a byte and “[…]” represents the data
field. The start of each packet is indicated by two control characters (<STX>), and is
terminated by a single control character (<ETX>). The checksum (<CHKSUM>) is
the two’s complement of the Least Significant Byte (LSB) of the sum of all data
bytes. The data field is limited to 255 data bytes. From the original firmware, to
enter boot mode, last byte of EEPROM should be the value of FFH, other than this
value, it will enter user mode (normal operation mode). The default value of the
EEPROM is FFH which will force the chip to enter boot mode. In order to enter user
mode, this byte should be modify followed by a RESET to check this byte again.
The same procedure is applied when user program needed to enter boot mode, this
byte must be changed to the value of FFH.
<STX><STX>[<DATA><DATA>…..]<CHKSUM><ETX>
Figure 5.5: Format of bootloader data
Computer host will be running a program named “PIC18F/PIC16F Quick
Programmer”. This program was developed with Visual Basic. Figure 5.6 shows the
outlook of this program. Following section explains the operation of this program.
To download program into microcontroller, there must be a program in HEX
file format built using MPLAB IDE. Before anything could happen the device
(microcontroller) attached to computer must be selected.
Next step will be to
connect bootloader program to the device with clicking “Connect to Device” button,
if the microcontroller is in boot mode, the “Device Identifier” column will show the
device name. After this, the chip may be erased, read or written. The user will be
able to program the chip with the desired program.
Configurations of
microcontroller also could be downloaded with the bootloader program. It will cover
many pages in this thesis if the details of bootloader are discussed here; therefore the
details can be downloaded at www.microchip.com.
99
End Current Operation
View Imported File
Connect to Device
Read Program Memory
Clear Imported File from Memory
Write to Program Memory
Export Hex File
Erase Device
Import HEX File
Run Program on Device
Status Message
Revision Level
Device Identifier
Port Identifier
Baud Rate Identifier
Figure 5.6: Outlook of PIC18F/PIC16F Quick Programmer
Although the bootloader firmware was developed by Microchip Inc., it is a
general purpose bootloader. Modifications are necessary before this program can be
embedded in this work. Modifications have been made on both the microcontroller
firmware and the computer host program. First modification is the way to enter boot
mode and user mode. Original program used the last byte of EEPROM to determine
the mode to enter; however, adjustment has been made to change this method. The
chip will base on the state of a switch (push button) to enter either boot mode or user
mode. If switch S1 is pushed during the reset of microcontroller, it will enter boot
mode and wait for data. If the switch is not pushed, the chip will run the user
program. Second modification is the device supported by bootloader program on
computer host. Computer host will refer to a file for the device connected and its
configurations for programming purpose. However, Microchip Inc. did not include
PIC18F458 configurations in this list. Helps from Microchip technical support have
solved this problem. Few line of text was added to a file named “P1618QP.INI” in
the same directory of this program after installed.
100
5.3
Interrupt and Polling Driven Serial Communication
In order for microcontroller to be always aware of the data transmitted from
Bluetooth transceiver, interrupt driven UART is implemented.
UART also prevent data loss.
Interrupt driven
There are two interrupt vectors provided in
PIC18F458 architecture which are at address 0008H and 0018H. It is a priority level
interrupts type, where interrupt at 0008H have higher priority than interrupt at
0018H. Priority of interrupt can be configured at the initialization state. In the work
presented, receiver engine is configured at higher priority interrupt, while transmitter
engine will be at lower priority interrupt.
In a case where the microcontroller
receives data through UART and at the same time, it has data to be transmitted; the
microcontroller will service the receiver buffer first. Off course these two interrupts
could be combined with no priority difference, when interrupt flag is set, the
interrupt service routine will need to identify which interrupt flag is triggered and
service the corresponding interrupt. But since there is no other interrupt used in this
project, these two interrupts are separated to simplify their interrupt service routine.
Serial communication with Bluetooth transceiver is in asynchronous mode, the
microcontroller would not have any idea when the data is going to be received.
Although the receiver engine will automatically receive data from serial line, move 1
byte of data to receive buffer, set a flag bit (RCIF) and generate interrupt; if this byte
of data is not processed by the time next byte of data is received, the second byte of
data will overwrite the data received earlier. Thus to prevent data lost, receiver
interrupt was configured at higher priority. There are two interrupt services routines,
receiver interrupt routine and transmitter interrupt routine.
First, hardware initialization has to be done.
The initialization will be
discussed in next section. Receiver Interrupt Service Routine (ISR) will be called to
service if the RCIF (USART Receive Interrupt Flag bit) is set. Microcontroller’s
program counter will jump to 0008H and run the following instruction. The receiver
interrupt service routine is very short to minimize the time consumed. ISRs should
have short duration of time and are required to clean up any stack changes they
performed, in order not to interfere with the foreground task. Initialization of ISRs
often requires assembly commands, since interrupt lines are directly linked to the
microcontroller hardware (Thomas, 2003). In this project, the ISR of UART receiver
101
is named “RECEIVE_DATA”. Firstly, this routine will change the data memory
bank to bank 1 by moving value 01H to Bank Select Register (BSR). Followed by
instruction to copy the received data at receive buffer (RCREG) to address pointed
by the indirect addressing pointer (FSR2) and increase the pointer register by 1.
Before changing data memory bank back to bank 0 (default), a register (R_BYTE) is
increased to indicator the number of byte received. The last instruction will order
program counter to return to foreground program. This ISR consists of only 5
command lines. The “R_BYTE” register is a flag which act as indicator for the main
program to notice there are data received when it poll this register. If this register is
not null (zero), the main program will jump to a routine that will process the received
data. Figure 5.7 shows the flow chart of receive ISR.
Start
Change to Bank 1
Copy data from RXREG,
increase pointer
Increase R_BYTE
Change to Bank 0
Return to main program
Figure 5.7: Flow chart of Receive Interrupt Service Routine
Another function that will trigger the interrupt flag is transmitter routine.
This interrupt will be triggered by TXIF (USART Transmit Interrupt Flag bit) after
the transmit buffer (TXREG) is empty. Thus, when there is no data to transmit, this
interrupt must be disabled, or else it will always trigger this interrupt and transmit
data. On the other hand, to enable this interrupt, the TXEN (transmit enable bit) and
TXIF must be set.
When the interrupt flag is triggered, program counter will
102
automatically jump to transmit ISR. Before enabling this interrupt, the foreground
program must move the length of data wanted to be transmitted to a register named
“S_BYTE”. The function of this register is to store the data total length for ISR to
transmit. The start address of the first data to be transmitted should be store into
indirect
addressing
file
register
(FSR1).
Transmit
ISR
is
named
“TRANSMIT_DATA”. In this ISR, data memory bank is changed to bank 0 (where
the transmit data are), and the “S_BYTE” will be decreased and checked whether is
zero. If this register is not zero, this routine will copy the data pointed by indirect
addressing pointer to TXREG, increase the indirect addressing pointer and return to
foreground program. While the program is running, the data copied to the transmit
buffer will be transmitted out and after the register is empty, this ISR will be called
again. The ISR will be called until the “S_BYTE” register is empty and ISR will
clear the TXEN bit and TXIF bit, disabling this interrupt. Figure 5.8 shows the flow
chart of transmit ISR.
Start
Change to
Bank 0
Decrease
S_BYTE, = 0?
Yes
Disable TXEN
and TXIF
No
Copy data to TXREG,
increase pointer
Return from ISR
Figure 5.8: Flow chart of Transmit Interrupt Service Routine
103
Since receiver engine will awoke the ISR to service the data received and
increase the “R_BYTE” register, if at the same time the main program noticed there
are data in the receive buffers, it will jump to data processing routine.
Data
processing error always happen if the data received is slower than the data processing
speed. Thus a routine that will minimize this error is added. This routine is added to
ensure that the data received is at the minimum amount before it is being processed.
Before making sure that the number of data received enough for further process, the
first byte of data is checked. If “null” is received, the program will branch to
“ZERO_RECIEVED” routine. There should not be a null byte (first byte) since
there are no null byte in Bluetooth HCI packet indicator. This routine will decrease
the “R_BYTE” register by 1 and branch to foreground program.
5.4
Initialization
Before I/O pins, UART communication, interrupts and registers can be used
in the main program, early initialization must be done to ensure every thing will
work accordingly. Firstly, registers must be declared.
These included defining
configuration bits, registers and I/O pins, setting baud rate, clearing data memory
bank, and etc. Configuration bits are used to set various options of features intended
to maximize system reliability. These bits are used to control those features whether
to enable it or to disable it. In the software developed, the configurations are set as
follow:
• External Oscillator, HS (High Speed Crystal/Resonator).
• Brown-out Reset disabled.
• Watchdog Timer disabled.
• Background Debugger disabled, Low Voltage In Circuit Serial Programming
Disabled and Stack Full/Underflow will not cause RESET.
• Code protection was disabled for all memory map (EEPROM, FLASH Program
memory and Data memory)
• ID setting is not necessary.
104
Followed next are the pins and registers definition section. This section
defines pins for switches, LED displays, DC brushless control pins, Infrared
proximity sensor input pins and encoder inputs. Registers used in the program are
also defined here which included registers for:
•
Encoders (left and right)
•
16 bits divide and multiply routine
•
Timing delay
•
Array of Bluetooth HCI command packet
•
Array of Bluetooth ACL data packet
•
UART received data buffer
HCI command packet constant values are defined in program memory after
definition of I/O pins and registers. The HCI command packets defined are:
•
HCI_Soft_Reset: This command is always sent as the first command during
the initialization procedure of Bluetooth transceiver to result a software reset.
•
HCI_Read_Buffer_Size: This command is sent from the host to Bluetooth
transceiver requesting the maximum size of HCI ACL and SCO data packets
that the host can sent. Based on Bluetooth Specification (Bluetooth SIG Inc,
1999), this command must be sent by the host before data packet can be sent to
the Bluetooth transceiver.
•
HCI_Write_Scan_Enable: This command was used to enable the discoverable
mode and to enable the control of connections attempts. In other words, this
command controls whether or not Bluetooth transceiver start to periodically
scans for inquiry requests and/or page attempts from other Bluetooth
transceiver.
•
HCI_Set_Event_Filter: This command is used to set the configuration of the
filter for the connection handling of new connections. It is used to configure
Bluetooth transceiver to automatically accept any connection request from
other Bluetooth transceivers without asking permission from the host.
•
HCI_Inquiry: This command will enable the Bluetooth transceiver to start the
inquiry process, searching for available Bluetooth transceiver/s within range.
There is a time out parameter in this command which determine time for
inquiry process. During the specified period, Bluetooth transceiver may return
105
inquiry result to host if there is response of other Bluetooth transceiver/s.
After the period, the Bluetooth transceiver will end the inquiry process and
return an inquiry complete event.
•
HCI_Create_Connection: This command will order Bluetooth transceiver to
start connection request with a Bluetooth transceiver specified by the
Bluetooth address in this command. Bluetooth address is one of this packet
parameters. The Bluetooth address is one of the parameters return from the
inquiry process with HCI_Inquiry_Result. There are some other parameters
such as packet type, clock offset, allow role switch and page scan mode. Some
of the parameters are variables which depend on inquiry result. However, this
packet is predefined t to simplify the process of transmission.
•
HCI_ACL_Packet: This is the packet contain real data to be communicated.
HCI data packet is bi-directional, where host will receive this packet and will
also send it. Although most parameters in this packet are variable data, there
are also fixed parameters such packet indicator and packet size. Hence, it is
predefined.
These arrays should be defined at data memory (RAM) because some parts
are variables which will be modified according to program. However, if these arrays
are in RAM, the program will need to define it at the initial state. This method
consume a lot of command lines and time, thus is not a good option. One way is to
define these constants in the program memory and use a routine to load these arrays
to the RAM (Microchip Technology Inc, 2003b). Defining array will be the job of
compiler.
The definition of these arrays will be downloaded together with the
program code. As a result, the program does not need to define the data again.
However, the program needs to copy these arrays from program memory to data
memory accordingly. A subroutine named “LOAD_RAM_DATA” is responsible to
load data from program memory to data memory according to the address stated.
After arrays definition, follow the vector remap process. Bootloader is used
on the microcontroller; therefore reset vector and two interrupt vectors have to be reallocated to new address.
The reset vector is remapped to address 0200H.
Meanwhile high priority interrupt vector and low priority interrupt vector are
remapped to address 0208H and address 0218H correspondingly.
106
The program will start at address 0300H. It started with initialization of I/O
ports defining pins as input or output. Besides, this section also defines the default
baud rate for the microcontroller. The default baud rate is 9600 Kbps which is also
the default baud rate for Motorola Bluetooth transceiver. The baud rate can be
changed with other subroutine. Interrupt configuration registers are also initiated
here. As mentioned before, the receiver interrupt is set as high priority interrupt
while transmitter interrupt is low priority interrupt.
This part also enables the
receiver engine but disable transmitter engine.
The “LOAD_RAM_DATA” subroutine will be called, followed by another
subroutine named “SUB_RESET”. This subroutine is responsible to load the initial
value of some registers such as clearing buffer of timer 0 (left motor encoder value).
After
returning
from
this
subroutine,
another
subroutine
called
“WAIT_BAUD_RATE” will change the UART baud rate to 57600 Kbps if switch 1
(S1) is pushed. This option is used for the microcontroller which will communicate
with Bluetooth transceiver from Sigma Teleca because the default baud rate of this
transceiver is 57600 Kbps. If switch 1 is not pushed during the execution of this
routine, the baud rate will be at the default value of 9600 Kbps.
The following routine will be the main program. The foreground program is
divided into two main parts. One is “WAITING” state which indicates that the
microcontroller is waiting for BlueBot’s PAN establishment. If Bluetooth PAN was
successfully established, the program will go to “AFTER_CONNECT” state. In this
state, BlueBots can communicate with each other.
5.5
Bluetooth HCI Stack
According to the work by Margrette. et al. (2001), there are three approaches
in the implementation of the Bluetooth protocol stack. The first approach is the
standard two-processor architecture, which uses a host processor and a target
processor. The two processors communicate through the Host Control Interface
107
(HCI). This approach is used for computer host applications. The second approach
is the embedded two-processor architecture, which also uses two processors but most
of the layers are embedded to the target processor. This is used for devices with
limited resources such as mobile phones. The last approach is the wholly embedded
single processor architecture, which is typical for a single chip solution. Since
Bluetooth transceivers from various development tools are used, the third approach is
not the choice in this work. Bluetooth transceiver is not programmable as proposed
by second approach, thus the first approach will be implemented in this work.
When communicating with nodes that required real time process such as
sensor reading, the PAN must operate in a low latency and low overhead mode
(Mario et al., 2001). HCI is the lowest layer of the host side which requires the
lowest latency and lowest overhead. Bluetooth HCI protocol stack was developed
and implemented which will responsible to handle the initialization of Bluetooth
transceiver and to control Bluetooth transceiver to start inquiry process, and further
to create connection/s, finally to establish BlueBot’s PAN.
Besides sending
command packets, HCI stack is able to read and process event packets returned by
the Bluetooth transceiver. This stack also handles ACL data. This stack is resided
under the big routine of “HANDLE_DATA”. This routine will process all the data
receive from UART receiver engine.
“HANDLE_DATA” routine will be branched from main program
independently from the program state (Waiting state or After Connect state).
Whenever the main program sensed there is new data received in data buffer, it will
branch to this routine. As discussed in section 5.3, there will be a small routine to
ensure that the amount of data received is at least enough for data process.
Furthermore, it also checks whether the data received is valid. All HCI packets start
with a packet indicator; therefore this routine will check the first byte to determine
the packet type. If this byte is neither 04H nor 02H, it will be ignored with the
branch to “ZERO_RECEIVED” routine. If the value of first byte is 04H, this packet
is event packet and the program will branch to “EVENT_PACKET” routine. If the
value of first byte is 02H, the routine will continue the data process which is the ACL
data packet process.
When communicating two Bluetooth transceivers from
Motorola and Sigma Teleca, strange ACL packet will be received by the host before
108
and after receiving a real ACL packet. The routine ensure that the microcontroller
does not process the wrong ACL packet.
In the event packet routine, the program will copy the second byte of data to
“EVENT_CODE” and the third byte to “EVENT _LENGTH” register. Event code
will be used to distinguish the type of event packet, while event length will be used
to make sure that the full packet is received before preceding the data process.
Although the routine to ensure full event packet was received seems to execute small
task, it is an important routine because there is a lot of data processing errors
occurred in the development and testing period before this routine is added. The
reason behind the error is that data processing speed is much faster than the data
receiving speed. When the main program noticed that data is received and branch to
data handle routine, the speed is much faster and maybe at the same moment the real
data received is only 3 bytes. But the data processing routine will over take the
speed of received data and process the fourth byte which is the older data, thus error
occurred.
In event packet routine, all the necessary types of event packet are handled.
Those event packets are:
•
Command Complete Event: This event packet is return from Bluetooth
transceiver after a HCI command is completed. The event carried information
describing the status of the executed command. If current command was
executed successfully, microcontroller will sent the next command to
Bluetooth transceiver. If this event indicates that a command is failed during
the execution, the corresponding command will be resent.
Those HCI
command packets which will result the return of this event packet are soft
reset, read buffer size, set event filter and write scan enable.
•
Command Status Event: This packet is to indicate that a command has been
received, and that the Bluetooth transceiver is currently performing the task of
the command. If the command fail to be executed (a parameter error may
occurred), a parameter in this packet will indicates the host. In this program,
only two HCI command will result the return of this event packet, HCI inquiry
command and HCI create connection command. This event handling process
will only take place at the host of master node, which is BlueBot 1 because
109
both inquiry command and create connection command will only be sent by
microcontroller on BlueBot 1. If the returned status indicates the failure of the
HCI command sent, the corresponding command will be resent.
•
Connection Complete Event: This event packet indicates a successful link
establishment with a Bluetooth transceiver with the unique BT_Address as one
of the
parameters
returned.
The
program will
“CONNECT_STATUS” register accordingly.
clear
a bit
in
There are three bits which
represent general connection, BlueBot 2’s connection and BlueBot 3’s
connection.
Besides, the routine that handle this event have to load the
parameters returned to the corresponding registers such as 1st connected
BlueBot’s Bluetooth Address.
After receiving this packet, another event
packet will followed, which is Max Slot Change Event.
•
Max Slots Change Event: This event is used to notify the host about the
LMP_Max_Slots parameter when the value of this parameter changes. The
Bluetooth transceiver from Motorola will sent this event to host right after a
successful connection. After processing this packet, the program will check
the “CONNECTION_STATUS” register to determine whether to send another
create connection command or to return to “After_Connect” state. If two
connections have been successfully established, it will branch back to main
program.
•
Inquiry Result Event: This packet indicates that at least one Bluetooth
transceiver has responded to inquiry process. The Bluetooth transceiver may
send this packet to host as soon as an inquiry response received or it may
queue all inquiry results and send to host in one packet. Thus the host may
receive either two inquiry results in two difference event packets or in one
event packet. Most of the parameters in this packet will be used during create
connection such as Bluetooth Address, Page Scan Mode and Clock Offset.
Thus the routine must store the parameter accordingly.
•
Inquiry Complete Event: This event indicates that the inquiry process have
finished. It returns two parameters, the inquiry status and the number of
Bluetooth transceiver that responded to the latest inquiry process.
•
Number of Completed Packets Event: This event packet is used to indicate the
host the amount of HCI data packets have been completed (transmitter or
110
flushed). The program developed will ignore this packet since every ACL
packet sent will return this packet.
If the packet indicator (first byte) does not represent event packet, the routine
will continue with handling ACL data packet routine. In this routine, the following 4
bytes after packet indicator will be copy to corresponding registers. As discussed in
section 5.3, ACL packet has 12 bits parameter which represents the connection
handle. Only the 8 bits (LSB) will be store to one connection handle register
(“CONNECTION_HANDLE”). While the other 4 bits (MSB) will be combined
with another two parameters (PB flag and BC flag) to form another complete byte
and stored in “PB_BC_FLAG” register. Another two bytes represent the total length
of the date sent. Only the LSB byte will be stored because the data sent in this work
will not exceed 255 bytes, thus there is not need to store the MSB byte of this
parameter. There will be two routines with function to ensure the data processed is
correct. One is to wait data in receive buffer until it is equal or more than the total
length of ACL received. Mean while another routine will check whether this ACL
data packet is correct data sent by BlueBots. There is a minimum total length for
ACL data packet sent in BlueBot’s PAN. If the data length received is less than the
minimum value, this packet is ignored with a branch to “BLANK_ACL”. This
routine is essential because microcontroller will receive strange ACL data packet
from Motorola Bluetooth transceiver when communication with Bluetooth
transceiver from Sigma Teleca occurred. This strange ACL packet is received before
and after receiving Connection Complete Event, and same case occurred during ACL
data packet reception. The last few command lines of this routine will copy the real
data to corresponding registers excluding the L2CAP CID. As explained in section
3.2.3.3, L2CAP Channel ID and data length for L2CAP have to be included in HCI
ACL data packet. Tests have been carried out to clarify this information. The result
proved that only Ericsson Bluetooth transceiver (Sigma Teleca) must receive this
format in order to send ACL data. There is no trouble sending ACL data without
L2CAP format between Motorola Bluetooth transceivers. However, sending ACL
packet without L2CAP format to Ericsson Bluetooth transceiver will cause the
Baseband to filter out this packet. After copying the corresponding data to registers,
the program will call a subroutine named “PROCESS_ACL_DATA”.
111
HCI stack comprise of not only routines to process event packets and ACL
data packets, it also include HCI command packets.
However, HCI command
packets are sent by the host to control Bluetooth transceiver. All the HCI commands
packets were define at top of the program and loaded to data memory as discussed
early this section. There is a register which named “MODE” used to indicate the
state of HCI command sent. Besides, this register is used as the pointer for the
transmit subroutine to point to the address of corresponding HCI command.
5.6
Establishing Connection - Personal Area Network
Before BlueBots could communicate wirelessly, Bluetooth piconet or
Bluetooth PAN must be established. Previous section explains the registers, pointers
and routines used to handle the HCI stack, this section will explain how the
BlueBot’s PAN is established.
5.6.1
Bluetooth Transceiver Initialization
The software developed has two part of initialization.
One is for
microcontroller (explained in section 5.4), while another initialization is for
Bluetooth transceiver. Bluetooth transceiver must be reset (software or hardware)
before it can be configured.
Reset command is sent from host and will reset
Bluetooth module, Link Manager and the radio module; all data and all queued
packets will be lost.
Default values will be loaded as stated in the Bluetooth
Specification (Bluetooth SIG Inc, 1999) after reset.
After completion of this
command, a command complete event will be sent to microcontroller. If the reset
process is successfully executed, the microcontroller will sent other commands in
sequence as defined in section 5.4. The last command sent for initialization is
“HCI_Set_Event_Filter”. This event is used not only to configure the Bluetooth
transceiver to automatically accept connection request, it also allow microcontroller
to specify the events that interest the microcontroller, thus the Bluetooth module will
112
filter all the events before sending to microcontroller. However, only some event can
be filtered. For example “Number of Completed Packets Event” can not be filtered.
Every Bluetooth transceiver will be initiated with the same HCI commands and
sequence.
Once microcontroller board is powered up, it will start it own
initialization and detect whether to change the default baud rate (9600 kbps) and
enter the “waiting” mode. In this mode, it polled status of a switch to determine
whether to start the Bluetooth transceiver initialization. However, the program also
starts a timer (timer 3) to limit the waiting period for the switch to be pushed. If the
switch is not pushed in certain period of time, the program will start the Bluetooth
transceiver initialization itself. Thus the board will automatically initialize not only
itself but also the Bluetooth transceiver attached.
BlueBot 1 is pre-configured as master of BlueBot’s PAN, it is responsible to
start the connection attempt. However, other Bluetooth transceiver must enter the
standby mode, where each of them will listen to inquiry and paging packet
periodically. This could be done after the initialization. One of the commands
(Write Scan Enable) configures the Bluetooth transceiver to enter this mode.
According to Petter and Karl-Olof (1999), during this mode, an unconnected unit
periodically "listens" for messages.
In this process, all nodes (Bluetooth
transceivers) hop over 32 dedicated frequencies (Tan et al., 2001).
The link
formation process specified in the Bluetooth Baseband specification consists of two
processes: Inquiry and Page. The goal of the Inquiry process is for a master node to
discover the existence of neighboring Bluetooth transceiver devices and to collect
enough information about the low-level state of those neighbors (primarily related to
their native clocks) to allow it to establish a frequency hopping connection with those
neighbors. This process will start when the microcontroller send the “HCI_Inquiry”
command to Bluetooth transceiver. The goal of the Page process is to use the
information gathered during the inquiry process to establish a bi-directional
frequency hopping communication channel.
The “HCI_Create_Connection”
command will start the paging process with the parameters given by the host. Of
course the host gets these parameters from the inquiry result event.
Theodoros Salonidis et al. (2001) explained the details of link establishment
in Bluetooth network and it actually divided the protocol for link formation in to two:
113
Asymmetric and Symmetric. Bluetooth specification provides asymmetric protocol
where it yields a very short connection establishment delay provided that the master
and slaves roles are pre-assigned, as in the current developed work.
While
symmetric protocol proposed is a protocol where all nodes are the same, there are no
pre-assigned nodes. The proposed protocol has faster connection setup time when
more nodes come together. Mean while, current developed work concentrate on
establishing the basic piconet, as a result symmetric method will be used.
There are three parameters in inquiry command which must be specified by
the host before sending to Bluetooth transceiver. First parameter is LAP (Low
Address Part) which comprised of three bytes length. The details of LAP can be
referred to Bluetooth Specification. The second parameter is the Inquiry length, this
parameter specifies the total durations of inquiry process. In this work this duration
is set to 10.24 seconds. The last parameter signifies the number of response from
nearby Bluetooth transceivers.
This parameter is set to unlimited number of
responses. As explained in previous section, during the inquiry process, Bluetooth
transceiver may sent inquiry result event to host and the host will have a routine to
handle this event.
After receiving inquiry complete event from Bluetooth
transceiver, the microcontroller will start the paging process.
The Bluetooth
transceiver will negotiate connection setup with one of the BlueBot based on the
parameters given. The parameters are Bluetooth Devices Address, Packet type, Page
Scan Repetition Mode, Page Scan Mode, Clock Offset and Allow Role Switch.,
BlueBot 1 will attempt to establish second connection if the first connection is
successful (after receiving connection complete event).
However, if the first
connection is failed, the microcontroller will reset all the registers and start the
initialization for Bluetooth transceiver again.
Figure 5.9 shows the modes of
Bluetooth transceiver in order to establish a link.
The data can be send through BlueBot’s PAN is ACL data.
ACL link
supports up to six different packet types. The packet type is determined when
creating connection. One of the parameters in create connection command which
comprise of 2 bytes will specifies the packet type. This parameter is “Packet Type”.
The packet types have been divided into three segments.
The first segment is
reserved for packets occupying a single time slot; two packet types have been
114
defined. The second segment is reserved for packets occupying three time slots; two
packet types have been defined. The third segment is reserved for packets occupying
five time slots; two packet types have been defined. The slot occupancy is reflected
in the segmentation and can directly be derived from the type code. Table 5.1
summarizes the packets defined for the ACL link types.
STANDBY
Page
Scan
Page
Inquiry
Scan
Inquiry
Master
Response
Slave
Response
Inquiry
Response
Connection
Figure 5.9: Modes of Bluetooth link establishment
In the software developed, the packet type has been set to DM3 which is
actually a DM1 packet with an extended payload. The DM3 packet may cover up to
three time slots. The payload contains up to 123 information bytes (including the 2bytes payload header) plus a 16-bit CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) code.
115
Table 5.1: The packet types of ACL link
Value of
type
0x0001
0x0002
0x0004
0x0008
0x0010
0x0020
0x0040
0x0080
0x0100
0x0200
0x0400
0x0800
0x1000
0x2000
0x4000
0x8000
5.6.2
packet
Packet types
Reserved for future use.
Reserved for future use.
Reserved for future use.
DM1
DH1
Reserved for future use.
Reserved for future use.
Reserved for future use.
Reserved for future use.
Reserved for future use.
DM3
DH3
Reserved for future use.
Reserved for future use.
DM5
DH5
Asymmetric
(kbps)
Rate
108.8
172.8
387.2
585.6
477.8
723.2
ACL Data (forwarding)
If all connections establishment are successful, BlueBot’s PAN has been set
up. BlueBots may communicate with each other within the radius of 10 meters.
Although all three BlueBots are connected through Bluetooth link, slave nodes
cannot be linked together directly, the path of a packet must alternate between master
and slave nodes (Tan et al., 2001). Thus the master node is responsible to forward
the packet. To send ACL packet to slave, a master either could send it point to point
or used broadcast transmission. The method of transmission is determined by a flag
in the ACL data packet, the “BC Flag”. Both ways have been tested. If the master
sends ACL data using point to point transmission, it will have to send the same data
twice, each for different slave. Broadcast transmission method will consume less
time. However, broadcasting transmission encounters a problem. When the master
broadcasts an ACL data packet, both slaves will receive the correct data. The
problem is both slaves receive duplicated data sent by the master node. Meanwhile
there is no problem sending data point to point. Thus the ACL data is sent point to
point from master to slaves. In the payload field of ACL data packet, BlueBot’s data
is stored. Currently, the total length of the payload is 7 bytes excluding L2CAP data
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length and channel ID parameters. The format of BlueBot’s data packet will be
discussed in coming section.
5.7
Robot Control Architecture
Robot control architecture in this project can be divided into two main
elements, one is robot hardware control and another is communication protocol.
Communication protocol will focus on the communication among BlueBots in the
PAN. This included packet forwarding, information sharing and decision making.
Hardware control will focus on controlling DC brushless motor, reading sensors,
reading encoders and displaying the program status on LED display. Although all
these controls seem to be simple, they play important roles to prove that
microcontroller based mobile robot could be embedded with Bluetooth
communication while performing its own control.
5.7.1
BlueBot’s PAN
Section 5.6 has discussed the details of PAN establishment, while this section
will cover the communication between BlueBots.
After PAN of BlueBots is
established, BlueBots could start the communication. BlueBot data packet is stored
after L2CAP data length and channel ID parameters. The format of BlueBot data
packet is shown in Table 5.2.
Table 5.2: BlueBot Data Packet Format
Packet
Angle
Indicator
Unused
Forward
Forward
Motor
Sensor
Distance_L Distance_H Steering Reading
The packet indicators indicate the packet types. There are four types of data
packet defined. They are:
•
Command Packet with the indicator value = 01H
117
•
Task Complete Packet with the indicator value = 02H
•
Task Interrupt Packet with the indicator value = 04H
•
Confirmation Packet with the indicator value = 08H
The “Angle” field stores the value of angle in degree unit for the robot to
pivot. This value will be used to calculate the value of counter for both motor. The
following is “Unused” field which is reserved for future used. Next two bytes
represent the distance value for motor if the motor is order to move straight. There
are 2 bytes where one byte represents lower value and another byte represents higher
value of the distance, respectively.
The value is in centimeter units.
“Motor
Steering” field provides motor steering information, the BlueBot’s motor will move
according to this value. Last field is “Sensor Reading” which represents sensor
reading from the sender BlueBot.
Command packet is packet that contains command for each robot to execute.
After the “PROCESS_ACL_DATA” routine checks the packet indicator, it will
branch to corresponding routine to process the packet.
If command packet is
received, the program will branch to a routine named “PROCESS_COMMAND”. In
this routine, either angle or distance value will be copied for counter value
calculation. If the angle value is “null” or zero, the program will act according to
distance value. This routine will also copy the motor steering value to motor control
port. If BlueBot received this packet, it will execute the command accordingly and
set a bit in “TASK_COMPLETE” register to indicate there is task being executed.
Besides, BlueBot will need to send a confirmation packet back to the sender BlueBot
to indicate that it has received this packet. If the receiver BlueBot does not send the
confirmation data packet back to sender BlueBot in certain of period, the
corresponding command packet will be sent again until the sender BlueBot receive a
confirmation packet. Additional task is executed at the master side, since the master
is responsible to forward the packet received. Besides sending confirmation packet
back to sender BlueBot, the master BlueBot (BlueBot 1) is required to forward the
command packet to another slave BlueBot.
The second type of data packet is task complete packet. This packet indicates
that the sender BlueBot has completed the given task. As acknowledged in Chapter
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3, the three BlueBots are heterogeneous because of their motor power, robot size and
wheels size. Thus the period for each BlueBot to complete a given task is different.
Task Interrupt packet indicates that the sender BlueBot has been interrupted
while executing the given task. This could happen when the BlueBot sensed obstacle
while moving. This is to let the master know the status of the corresponding BlueBot
state, and decide the next action for that BlueBot.
Confirmation packet is the last packet type in BlueBot data packet. This
packet is used for error checking. When ever BlueBot receive other three types of
packets, it must return a confirmation packet to indicate the reception. A timer is
used to monitor the period of this packet to be sent back. This timer will be activated
when ever the sender sends a packet (excluding the confirmation packet itself) to
other BlueBot. This is rule applied to the master and the slave BlueBots. If there is
no confirmation packet being sent back after the timer exit the period, the sender will
resent the corresponding packet. If the sender received confirmation packet, it will
deactivate the timer.
5.7.2
Encoder Routine
DC brushless motor driver provides simple interfacing and easy control. To
close the loop of this control, encoder feedback from the motor is stored in counter
register of microcontroller and will be checked frequently. Based on the objective of
this project, no complex algorithm will be developed for BlueBots locomotion. Thus
simple encoder algorithm is developed to calculate robot distance and angle.
As mention in previous section, ACL data process routine will pass the value
of either angle or distance to four bytes registers. These registers will store the value
for right motor encoder (RIGHT_ENCODER_L_R and RIGHT_ENCODER_H_R)
and left motor encoder (LEFT_ENCODER_L_R and LEFT_ENCODER_H_R), two
bytes each encoder. The routine will also copy the value of motor steering to motor
control port (Port B). Before it copies the value to motor control port, the routine
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will clear the counter register. The motor will act according to the steering value.
There are thirteen types of motor steering. These steering control types are slow
forward, fast forward, slow reverse, fast reverse, slow turn right, fast turn right, slow
turn left, fast turn left, slow right pivoting, fast right pivoting, slow left pivoting, fast
left pivoting and stop both motor.
At the main program, a routine named “CHECK_ENCODER” will be called
frequently. This routine will always check the counter value with the value stored in
encoder registers. The counter value is actually accumulation of the speed output
from the DC brushless motor. Each motor speed output is connected to a 16 bits
counter. Thus this routine will check MSB and LSB of both left and right motor
counter. This routine will check each motor counter value independently from
another motor status. In other words, if one of the motors has rotated until it reaches
it corresponding encoder value, it will be stopped; however, another motor will still
keep moving until it reaches its own encoder value. After both motors reach their
encoder
values,
this
routine
will
clear
a
bit
in
a
register
named
“TASK_COMPLETE” to indicate it has completed the job given.
The angle and distance value is sent in the units of degrees and centimeters
respectively. The angle will be used when the BlueBot pivot while distance is used
for the BlueBot to move in straight line. The calculation of the counter value from
angle or distance given is carried out by some mathematics routines developed. The
calculation is based on the radius of BlueBot, wheel size and the speed output from
DC brushless motor.
If the radius of BlueBot (from the center of mobile robot to wheel) is
represented by “R”, and the BlueBot is pivoting (turn on the center point), thus the
angle (α) make by the BlueBot (See Figure 5.10) is:
α
360°
=
S1
2πR
Where S1 represent the perimeter displacement made by BlueBot.
(5.1)
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S1
α
R
β
S2
r
Plan view of BlueBot
Wheel
Figure 5.10: Plan view of BlueBot
The perimeter displacement of mobile robot is equal to perimeter
displacement of the wheel.
Thus S1 is equal to S2, where S2 is perimeter
displacement of the wheel. If the radius of the wheel is “r” and the wheel angle is
represented by “ β ”, therefore the relationship of these elements can be represented
by the following equation:
β
360°
=
S2
2πr
(5.2)
Since S1 is equal to S2, therefore,
β=
Rα
r
(5.3)
If the total value of encoder to complete a round of wheel is represented by
“N”, and the required encoder value to make the angle β is represented by “n”, thus
their relationship is represented by the following equation:
β=
360°n
N
(5.4)
Combination of (3) and (4) will result:
Rα 360n
=
r
N
(5.5)
Thus the encoder value “n” to made the angle α on the robot while pivoting
is represented by:
n=
RαN
360r
(5.6)
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By replacing the value of all symbols, the counter value for desired robot
angle could be calculated.
From equation (5.2) and (5.4), the distance or perimeter displacement can be
represented by:
S2
n
=
2πr N
(5.7)
Or it can be simplified to:
n=
NS 2
2πr
(5.8)
By replacing the value of all symbols, the counter value for desired robot
distance could be calculated.
Although the equation for the counter value is proven, there must be
mathematical functions to calculate the value. Next section will explain the details
of mathematic functions. To use the mathematical functions, the program can simply
call these functions. However, before calling these functions, the program must load
the corresponding value to the correct registers. If the counter value should be
calculated from the angle given, the angle value must be loaded to the multiplier
registers before it could be calculated. The same procedure is applied to calculate
counter value from the distance given.
To load angle value to corresponding
registers, the program could call the routine named “LOAD_ANGLE” to execute the
loading process. Mean while, if distance value is essential to make the calculation,
the program could call the routine named “LOAD_DISTANCE” to execute the
desired process.
5.7.3
Mathematical Functions Routine
Programmer will need to take care of simple routines such as multiplication
and division because there are no library functions provided if assembly language is
used. PIC18F458 provides only 8 bits x 8 bits hardware multiplication, there is no 8
bits division function, and furthermore no 16 bits multiplication or division functions
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available.
Thus routines must be developed to provide those functions.
All
mathematical functions are based on unsigned integer, which means there are no
negative numbers involved.
16 bits signed or unsigned division routine is enclosed in (Microchip
Technology Inc., 2003a). The routine is very simple and ready to be called. Some
modifications have to be made before it can be inserted into BlueBot’s program.
There will be eight bytes of register involved in both the multiplication and division
routine.
16 bits multiplication needs 4 bytes of registers to store two 16 bits
multipliers. The result will be 32 bits long, thus another 4 bytes. Division routine
also needs 8 bytes of registers. There will be no floating point calculation, thus
division routine will only produce 16 bits “Quotient” and another 16 bits
“Remainder” which shown in following equation:
B
R
=Q+
A
A
(5.9)
Where “B” represents the numerator, “A” represents denominator, “Q”
represents quotient and “R” represents remainder. 8 bytes registers defined are
“ACCaHI”, “ACCaLO” and so on until “ACCdLO”.
These routines will be called by process command routine when it needs to
calculate the distance and angle to get the desired encoder value. As mentioned in
previous section, the process command routine will call a routine named
“CALCULATE_ENCODER” after loading the corresponding values to registers.
This routine will call the multiplication routine named “MUL_16” and division
routine named “DIV_16” to calculate the desired result. The result will be stored in
quotient and remainder registers. However, the real value needed for encoder is the
quotient; the remainder can be rounded up. Finally a routine to round up the result is
added.
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5.8
Summary
This chapter explained the details of software development and
implementation. Since assembly language is used as the development tool, many
aspects have to be considered. These aspects include defining registers and arrays,
hardware initialization, developing serial interrupt routine, Bluetooth HCI stack,
protocol to establish BlueBot PAN, BlueBots communication and robot control
architecture. Bootloader is implemented on each BlueBot’s microcontroller board
for easy programming and testing. Data processing routine developed have the
capability to process data with high accuracy because the serial communication is
interrupt driven, thus no data loss will occur even when the microcontroller is busy
with other routines. Furthermore, bytes checking routine is added to enable the data
processing routine to handle and ignore invalid data, further concentrate on
processing the correct data. While for the communication in BlueBot PAN, data
confirmation protocol is also added to ensure the communication is more reliable.
Thus the system proves that microcontroller based mobile robot is able to establish
its own Bluetooth Personal Area Network while executing robot control. Chapter 6
will present experiment results based on the BlueBot system developed.
Each
experiment carried out in Chapter 6 has some modifications in software routine.
These modifications are done to suit the experiments and will be discussed in detail
in next chapter.
CHAPTER 6
EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Experiment is the way to prove the theoretical concept in real world. In the
previous two chapters, Chapter 4 and Chapter 5, the hardware and software
implementation of BlueBot are discussed. The embedded Bluetooth technology is
targeting on enabling microcontroller based mobile robots to form a PAN and
communicate with each other wireless. Furthermore, the PAN must be a point to
multipoint link for multi-robot communication. Information must be able to transfer
from one slave to another slave. Experiments were carried out to validate the
proposed system.
The experimental results, comparisons and discussions are
covered in this chapter.
6.1
Experimental Results
Bluetooth is a wireless technology. To show the wireless communication
exists between robots, experiments or demonstrations must be carried out. This
section explains the concepts and procedure of each experiment carried out.
Since the platform is built from scratch, hardware and software, straight
forward experiments are proposed.
To run experiments with cooperative work
between robots, cooperative behavior modules must exist and ready to be used.
Since there are no modules developed for this platform, experiments such as
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command synchronization and information sharing is carried out. However, the
second and third experiment tries to prove that the platform could be used for multirobot application. The main objectives of these experiments are to show:
•
Bluetooth PAN can be set up by microcontroller based mobile robots.
•
Information can be shared among three BlueBots, slave to slave, slave
to master and vice versa.
•
Each BlueBot is able to performance Bluetooth HCI protocol and
receive the correct ACL data.
•
The host microcontroller of master Bluetooth manages to forward data
from one slave to another slave, send data to a particular slave and
sometimes broadcast the data.
•
Besides handling Bluetooth HCI protocol, each BlueBot is able to
execute robot control accordingly which include check encoder value
from motor and read sensor status.
•
Slave BlueBot is capable of making its own decision and give
command (send to master) if interrupt occurred. This proves that
BlueBot’s PAN is a distributed network.
As indicated above, the concept of experiments carried out is not to show the
successful rate of cooperative mobile robots system, but to show that microcontroller
based system could manage Bluetooth wireless communication and the
communication is reliable. The platform is suitable for future development and study
in multi-robot system and Ad Hoc networking. The experiments are captured and
saved as video files in appendix F. Section 6.2 to section 6.4 will cover the method
and result of each experiment.
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6.1.1
Experiment 1 – Movement Synchronization
The first experiment is carried out to test the establishment of PAN and
Bluetooth communication among BlueBots. As presented in section 5.6, once the
BlueBot microcontroller is powered up, it will automatically on a timer and check
the timer. Once the timer reached a value, the microcontroller will start to initialize
the Bluetooth transceiver to enter standby mode. This procedure runs on all three
BlueBots. However, there are some differences for the master BlueBot (BlueBot 1).
After entering standby mode, the microcontroller on BlueBot 1 will command the
Bluetooth transceiver to search for other nearby BlueBots (Inquiry) and try to
establish a Bluetooth Personal Area Network.
Once the BlueBot’s PAN is established, the master node will send a
command packet to each slave BlueBot. The command in a command packet is
either pivot right 90 degrees or move forward 50 cm. Recall in section 5.6.2,
broadcasting ACL packet to slaves encounter data processing problem.
Thus
BlueBot 1 will need to send ACL packet with the same command and parameters to
each slave BlueBot one by one. It will send the packet to the first connection
established with the corresponding connection handle, and followed by the second
connection handle. While sending the command packet to two slave BlueBots,
BlueBot 1 will start executing the same command packet. Besides sending the
command packet, BlueBot 1 also waits for confirmation packet from each slave
BlueBot. A timer (Timer3) will be activated for this purpose. The master will send
the same command packet to the particular slave BlueBot if it does not receive
confirmation packet from the corresponding BlueBot after the timer is timeout. After
receiving the confirmation packet, BlueBot 1 will deactivate the timer and continue
with its program. If the execution of the command is successful, it will clear a bit in
a register (Task_Complete) to indicate that it has completed the given task. Actually,
every time BlueBot 1 sends a command to the two BlueBots, it will set three bits in
this register to indicate there is task being executed by BlueBots. When a slave
BlueBot has completed the task (command) received, it will send a task complete
packet to the master. Once BlueBot 1 receives a task complete packet, it will clear
the corresponding bit in Task_Complete register. BlueBot 1 will only send the
following command to slave BlueBots when all three bits in this register are cleared.
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Thus, if one of the BlueBots failed to complete the given task, there will not be next
command, all BlueBots will stop and wait. This experiment is carried out for 50
times to test the reliability of BlueBots in establishing its PAN. The result will be
discussed in section 6.2. Figure 6.1 shows the movement path of BlueBots in this
experiment. The BlueBots will make a square shape since BlueBots will repeat to
forward 50 cm and pivot 90 degree.
BlueBot 1
BlueBot 2
BlueBot 3
First Movement
50cm forward
First Pivot
90 degree
Second Movement
50cm forward
Second Pivot
90 degree
Third Movement
50cm forward
Figure 6.1: Movement path of BlueBots in Experiment 1
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The real action of this experiment is shown in Appendix F, with a video file
named “Experiment 1”. It shows that the BlueBots can automatically form its own
PAN, and further maintained it. Three BlueBots start to move forward at the same
moment right after the PAN is formed. Although BlueBot 1 is slower, the other two
BlueBots (BlueBot 2 and BlueBot 3) will wait for all three BlueBots to complete the
given task before moving on to the following task.
6.1.2
Experiment 2 – Group Navigation with Obstacle Avoidance
The second experiment shows that command packet is not always given by
the master node of BlueBot’s PAN, the command can be passed to slave node when
interrupt occured.
Furthermore, this experiment shows that BlueBot has the
capability of avoiding obstacle while maintaining the PAN.
With an infrared
proximity sensor added to BlueBot 2, it has the capability to sense for obstacle and
avoid the obstacle.
Three BlueBots will be arranged to move in a triangular
formation as shown in Figure 6.2.
The same procedure for establishing BlueBot’s PAN in Experiment 1 is
applied in this experiment. Once the PAN of BlueBot is established, BlueBot 1
(master) will send a command packet to BlueBot 2 and BlueBot 3. This command
packet contains instructions for BlueBots to move forward 50 cm. Each BlueBot
will extract the information from ACL packet received. Based on the BlueBot data
packet format (section 5.7.1), the fourth and fifth byte is used to store the distance for
BlueBot to move in centimeter units. Each BlueBot will extract the data from these
bytes if and only if the angle value is null, and the packet type received is a
command or interrupt packet. As in Experiment 1, BlueBot 1 will wait for all three
BlueBots to finish the current task before sending next task. In Experiment 2, only
one command is given which is to move forward 50 cm.
129
BlueBot 1
BlueBot 2
BlueBot 3
Figure 6.2: BlueBots formation of Experiment 2
Experiment 2 is carried out to prove that the slave BlueBot may send
command back to the master BlueBot and make its own decision once interrupt
occur. If there is no obstacle blocking the movement of BlueBot 2, it will continue
with the command received and send a task complete packet to the master when the
given task is completed. However, if there is an obstacle blocking the way of
BlueBot 2, the interrupt sequence will be activated. First, BlueBot 2 will be stopped.
The current distance with reference to the last stopped position before interrupt occur
will be calculated from the encoder value. This task is executed by a routine named
“Calculate_Distance”. The result (distance in centimeter) will be stored in working
register (W).The main program will store the value into “Forward_Encoder_L_Send”
register and send it as an interrupt packet to BlueBot 1. Upon receiving the interrupt
packet, BlueBot 1 will check the connection handle to identify which slave BlueBot
is interrupted and will set the corresponding bit in a register labeled
“Task_Interrupt”.
Before sending a confirmation packet back to sender robot
(BlueBot 2) and forward the interrupt packet to another slave BlueBot (BlueBot 3), it
will call “Calculate_Distance” routine to calculate its current distance and call
another routine named “Caculate_Displacement” to calculate the difference between
its own distance and the distance of interrupted BlueBot. It will change the motor
control value of either move forward or move backward until it reaches the correct
distance. BlueBot 1 is slower than BlueBot 2, thus it will move forward. This
130
procedure is required to ensure that all three BlueBots stop at the same distance. The
same task is executed at BlueBot 3 once it received the interrupt packet forwarded by
BlueBot 1. While the other two BlueBots adjust their position, BlueBot 2 will wait
for task complete packet from BlueBot 1 which indicates both BlueBots have
finished adjusting their position. BlueBot 2 will send a command packet to BlueBot
1, to move forward 1 meter. BlueBot 1 will forward this command to BlueBot 3.
Mean while BlueBot 2 will start its own interrupt sequence. The sequence is as
followed:
1. Pivot right 90 degrees
2. Move forward 60 cm
3. Pivot left 90 degrees
4. Move forward 1 meter
5. Pivot left 90 degrees
6. Move forward 60 cm
7. Pivot right 90 degrees
8. Send a task complete command to BlueBot 1
Upon receiving the task complete packet from BlueBot 2, BlueBot 1 will
clear the corresponding bit in “Task_Interrupt” and “Task_Complete” registers.
These will enable BlueBot 1 to start its original command sequence which is to move
forward 50 cm. Figure 6.3 shows the movement of BlueBots if obstacle exist in front
BlueBot 2.
Experiment 2 is carried out for 10 times since the objective of this experiment
is not to test the reliability of PAN establishment and communication (Experiment 1
have carried out the test) but to shows the ability of BlueBot to maintain its PAN
while performing extra task such as obstacle avoidance. Besides, this experiment
shows that BlueBot’s PAN is not a centralized network, slave BlueBot may give
command to master BlueBot. The real action of this experiment is captured with a
video camera and converted into a video file. This file is named as “Experiment 2”
and it is attached in Appendix F. It shows that the group of BlueBots could move in
a group while avoiding obstacle at BlueBot 2 side. After BlueBots regroup, it
continues with its command. Although there are displacements in position and
distance, it shows that the communications between BlueBot is stable
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BlueBot 1
BlueBot 2
BlueBot 3
BlueBots’ path after
interrupt sequance
BlueBot 1 & 3 path during
interrupt sequance
Obstacle
BlueBot 2 path during
interrupt sequance
BlueBot after interrupt
sequance
BlueBot during interrupt
occur
Figure 6.3: BlueBots movement during and after interrupt
6.1.3
Experiment 3 – Bee Behavior
This experiment is inspired by the work of Barnhard et al. (2004) and work of
McClain et al. (2004). Two modified Brainstem PPRKs robot from Acroname
Robotics were used in the work (Barnhard et al., 2004). Both robots are controlled
by Compaq iPAQ pocket PCs which is Bluetooth enabled. The work proposed the
use of Bluetooth communication to solve the “Honeybee” task. Honeybee is a search
and navigation problem that requires a “guide” robot to lead other “blind” robots to a
specific target. The target proposed is a strong light bulb. The “guide” robot will
have sensors to search the bulb in a room environment. Once the “guide” robot
successfully found the bulb, it sends it final location to the “blind” robot. The
“blind” robot does not have the sensor to detect and search for the bulb; it depends
fully on the coordination send by the “guide” robot.
132
Experiment 3 is inspired by both of the works stated above. However, there
will not be a target to be searched, the target is a goal position (location) and it is predefined on BlueBot 1. The task of the “leader” or “guide” is to find a safe path to the
destination. The leader is equipped with an infrared proximity sensor for obstacle
avoidance while navigate through the path. The other two “follower” robots do not
have any sensors. They will totally depend on the command and information given
by the “leader” for navigation. All three BlueBots are involved in this experiment.
BlueBot 1 is configured as the “leader” and is given the goal position.
BlueBot 1 will try to setup BlueBot’s PAN as in the previous two experiments. It
will start to navigate to the desired destination once BlueBot’s PAN is established.
While navigating, BlueBot 1 will sense the front path with infrared sensor and
perform obstacle avoidance if it sensed one.
The path (distance, angle and
orientation) is recorded. Once it reached the goal position, it will send the path to
BlueBot 2. The path is saved according to the smallest action executed by BlueBot 1
during navigation such as:
•
Move forward 50 cm
•
Pivot right 90 degrees
•
Pivot left 90 degrees
The same path is sent to BlueBot 2. For example: BlueBot 1 will send
“Move forward 50 cm” to BlueBot 2, wait for data confirmation and further wait for
task complete packet before sending the following command. After BlueBot 2
completed navigation and reached the goal position, BlueBot 1 will start sending the
same command and information to BlueBot 3.
Software modification is essential in this experiment. Extra software routines
are also developed and added to enable some of the function used.
The
modifications included:
1. Command sending routine. BlueBot 1 will usually send command
and execute it once BlueBot’s PAN is established. However, in this
experiment, BlueBot 1 has to start the navigation to goal position
before sending commands.
133
2. Broadcasting routine. Although in section 5.6.2 it was stated that the
master does not use broadcasting method to send ACL data to both
slaves, it sent ACL data to each slave point to point. This is the same
as if broadcasting to two slaves. However, this method has to be
changed where ACL packet is sent to only one slave at one moment.
The master had to wait until first slave completed its navigation task
before sending data to the second slave.
The arrangement of
BlueBots is in sequence where BlueBot 1 is placed in front part,
followed by BlueBot 2 and lastly BlueBot 3.
Therefore, the
navigation must start with BlueBot 1 and followed by BlueBot 2 in
such the sequence they are arranged. The master node (BlueBot 1)
will need to differentiate the link established between BlueBot 2 and
BlueBot 3; it should send the navigation task to BlueBot 2 first. To
differentiate the link established, the master node checks the
Bluetooth transceiver address of each link upon receiving the
“Connection_Complete” event packet.
The software routines added included:
1. “Synchronize_Encoder” routine. This routine is called when ever the
task is interrupted. Interrupt will only occur when infrared proximity
sensor sensed obstacle in front of BlueBot 1. The speed of both
motors is controlled by two different external potential meters
(variable resistor). Thus there will be tiny differences in term of
speed between these motors. When the interrupt routine is called, it
will stop both motors immediately without considering the
synchronization between motors. There may be some displacement
between motors causing the incorrect orientation of BlueBot 1. This
routine is developed to ensure that both motor have same encoder
value or in other words, both wheels have rotated same distance. If
there is displacement between two encoder values, this routine will
activate the motor with smaller encoder value to move forward until it
reaches the same encoder value of another motor. Figure 6.4 shows
the scenario before and after the synchronization.
134
BlueBot orientation
after synchronize
BlueBot orientation
during interrupted
BlueBot position after
synchronize
BlueBot position
during interrupted
Figure 6.4: Synchronization of BlueBot motor
2. “Record_Path” routine will record the information during the
navigation of BlueBot 1. It will copy the motor steering, angle and
distance made during the navigation. Once there is task completed or
interrupted, this routine will be called to execute it task. Furthermore,
this routine will update the current robot position relative to the
destination. This information is stored into two registers, “X_Axis”
and
“Y_Axis”.
These
registers
will
be
used
by
“Decide_Next_Movement” routine to determine the next movement.
3. “Decide_Next_Movement” routine is responsible to create next
command for BlueBot 1. Based on the sensor reading and current
relative position to destination, this routine tries to avoid obstacle
while making the nearest path to the destination. It will then decide
the command for motor steering, distance or angle. Another routine
will be called to process the command after returning from this
routine.
The robot will move in a straight line, trying to complete X_Axis distance,
followed by Y_Axis. Although the robot will move in a straight line, the total
distance is divided into smaller partitions. The maximum value of each partition is
50 cm. Thus the robot will stop and realign every 50 cm. However, if obstacle is
standing on the way, BlueBot 1 will stop right after it sensed the obstacle.
135
Calculation of distance from motor encoder value is carried out after motor
synchronization. Record path routine will record the distance calculated. Therefore,
the “followers” (BlueBot 2 and BlueBot 3) will not bump on to the obstacle. After
recording the information needed, “Decide_Next_Movement” routine will decide
either to pivot right or left to avoid the obstacle. BlueBot 1 will try to complete the
value of Y_Axis followed by X_Axis. Only one obstacle is placed between the robot
path to prove that BlueBot 1 may avoid obstacle and reach the destination, and
further transmit the correct information to the other BlueBots.
The experiment is carried out without any obstacle at the early stage to ensure
the BlueBots reached the final position.
Figure 6.5 shows the overview of
Experiment 3. It shows the path that BlueBots will follow if there is no obstacle
blocking the way and also the path BlueBot will take if there is an obstacle. As in
Experiment 2, Experiment 3 is carried out for 10 times since the objective of this
experiment is not to test the reliability of PAN establishment and communication
(Experiment 1 have carried out the test) but to show that BlueBots could complete
“Honeybee” behavior, avoiding obstacle, recording correct path and communicate.
The results of experiment are captured and saved as a video file named “Experiment
3” in Appendix F.
136
BlueBot 1
BlueBot 2
BlueBot 3
Obstacle
BlueBots 1 original path if
there is no obstacle
BlueBot 1
BlueBot 1 path if there is
obstacle
BlueBot 2
BlueBot 3
BlueBot position after
experiment
BlueBot position before
experiment
Figure 6.5: Overview of Experiment 3
6.2
Discussions
Three experiments have been carried out to show the wireless communication
between BlueBot using Bluetooth transceiver. The BlueBots established its own
PAN for wireless communication and completed various kinds of tasks in
environment with obstacle and without obstacle. The result of experiments show that
the microcontroller based mobile robot is able to be embedded with Bluetooth
communication and is able to establish a Bluetooth PAN.
137
The establishment of BlueBot’s PAN may seem to be fast, however, the
microcontroller have sent four HCI command packets which also included the
processing of HCI event packets. The HCI protocol embedded in the microcontroller
(as explained in Chapter 5) is called to initialize the Bluetooth transceiver to enter
standby mode.
The HCI protocol will still be called in the establishment of
BlueBot’s PAN. Data processing routine must be reliable in order for HCI protocol
to execute correctly. Each byte in every HCI packet played an important role. If a
byte is received or processed wrongly, it may cause that particular HCI packet to be
ignored or in the worst case, the microcontroller will reset. However, the software
developed minimized the error by checking the validation of each packet. The
program will repeat the same HCI command if the particular HCI event is not
received correctly. Each BlueBot must run all these procedures every time a PAN is
established. The following sub sections will discuss the results and the advantages
and disadvantage of using Bluetooth transceiver on microcontroller based system.
6.2.1
Results from Three Experiments
Experiment 1 shows an important concept - microcontroller based mobile
robots could establish a Bluetooth Personal Area Network without the help from the
host computer. It proved that microcontroller based system could handle Bluetooth
HCI protocol. Furthermore, it shows that once PAN is established, BlueBots could
communicate, sending commands from the master node to the two slaves. The
successful rate of PAN establishment is quite high based on the data collected. Out
of 50 times of testing carried out, only 2 times of failure occurred. The successful
rate is 96%. This failure is caused by the data processing error when BlueBot 1 tries
to establish connection with BlueBot 3 with Bluetooth transceiver from Sigma
Teleca. As raised in section 5.3, communication between two Bluetooth transceivers
from different manufacturer (Motorola and Sigma Teleca) will encounter this
problem. The problem maybe caused by some slight difference on the standard of
Bluetooth transceiver. A strange data (not defined in Bluetooth Specification) will
be received by the host (microcontroller) before and after creating connection and
receiving ACL data packet.
However, a software routine has been added to
138
minimize the data processing error as explained in section 5.5. Besides handling
Bluetooth HCI protocol, the microcontroller is able to process ACL data received
and control motor (checking encoder value) generally. Forwarding packet and taking
care of packet confirmation are additional tasks for microcontroller of master nodes,
increasing the load of processor. However, it seems that the system (master node
and slave nodes) managed to handle the given tasks. BlueBot’s PAN established is a
bi-directional communication network. Data is not only sent from master node to
slave nodes; “Task_Complete” and “Data_Confirm” are ACL packets send from
slave node to master node. The sender BlueBots need not to consider whether the
channel is occupied, it may just send the message when ever it desired. Thus it is a
full duplex communication.
Experiment 2 present additional functions on BlueBots and are required to
complete more complex objective. Besides proving the same concept as Experiment
1, Experiment 2 proves that every BlueBot is able to process sensor reading besides
handling motor encoder value. Furthermore, this experiment proves that BlueBots’
PAN is a distributed communication system where BlueBot 1 does not always give
commands. When interrupts occur, BlueBot 1 will pass the control to the interrupted
BlueBot.
Besides,
extra
routines
such
as
“Calculate_Distance”
and
“Caluculate_Displacement” are developed to permit the objective to be achieved.
Both these routines have been developed to calculate the distance from encoder value
and compare the current distance of a particular BlueBot with interrupted BlueBot’s
distance respectively.
These routines work well.
The reliability of the
communication once again proven to be high based on the successful rate of this
experiment. All the 10 testings achieved the objective, where the three BlueBots
were successful in maintaining their formation after obstacle avoidance by BlueBot
2. Although some communication errors occurred during the process, an additional
software function to check packet reception of the receiver BlueBot, minimized the
error. For example, if BlueBot 3 complete a given task and send a task complete
packet to BlueBot 1 (as mentioned in section 5.3, Bluetooth transceiver from Sigma
Teleca cause error), the data may be lost. BlueBot 1 will not send a confirmation
packet back to BlueBot 3; however, timer on BlueBot 3 will send another task
complete packet after it timeout.
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Experiment 3 is the last experiment carried out.
The objective of this
experiment is to prove that BlueBots is able to navigate to a destination avoiding
obstacle and share navigation path wirelessly. With only one mobile robot equipped
with sensors, a group of mobile robots could reach destination without bumping into
obstacle with the existence of wireless communication for information sharing.
Additional functions and objectives increase the complexity of this experiment. It
shows the possibility that BlueBots could be used in HoneyBee task where only one
mobile robot have advanced sensors to navigate to destination safely or to search for
a target. Finally, broadcasting the navigation path or position to the other mobile
robots to move according to the information given and achieve their group objective.
In order for a multi-robot system to solve any task which requires coordinated
movements through communication, the information being communicated must be
accurate (Nguyen et al., 2003).
Bluetooth provides this communication.
The
“HoneyBee” behavior may seem simple to human because human are born with the
basic ability to communicate such as interact with each other and recognizing object.
However, for robots, this behavior requires robust and stable wireless
communication to achieve the objective.
During the time Experiment 3 is carried out, the platform encountered a
problem that never occurs in previous two experiments. This problem occurs when
there is another Bluetooth transceiver nearby.
As there are more than three
Bluetooth transceivers and they are in standby mode, they will respond to inquiry
process sent by master node and therefore resulting more than two inquiry results.
The master node is programmed to accept all the results and try to establish a
connection with each result. If connection is rejected, connection error will occur
and the microcontroller will branch to the beginning of program and start the whole
process again.
The additional Bluetooth transceivers are from another research
project. The researcher used a Bluetooth enabled Palm Personal Digital Assistant
(PDA) and a USB Bluetooth Adapter in the project. When the master node (BlueBot
1) attempted to create a connection with one of these unexpected Bluetooth
transceivers, the connection request was rejected because they are different in term of
“Class of Device”. However, this problem was solved with an additional software
routine to check the inquiry result after storing it. If the unique Bluetooth address is
not one of the expected Bluetooth transceiver, the inquiry result will be deleted. This
140
method blocked BlueBot 1 from creating connection with other unexpected
Bluetooth transceivers. Excluding the testing with the problem stated above, 10
times of testing were carried out. The result is very impressive because it achieved
100% successful rate. Although the same problem occurred as in Experiment 2, the
experiment consumed extra time to achieve the main goal. Bluetooth transceiver on
BlueBot 3 always caused communication error, however, the confirmation packet
routine try to minimize the error. It was successful, only extra time needed for
BlueBot 3 to resend task complete packet.
The third experiment can be applied in various tasks such as fire-fighting
mobile robots. Only the main mobile robot has the sensor to sense the existence of
fire, other mobile robots may be equipped with different kind of fire extinguisher.
During the detection and search of a fire source, the main mobile robot can recognize
and differentiate the kind of fire and call for the mobile robot with the suitable fire
extinguisher to put off the fire source. The work by Lee, (2002) stated that different
fire extinguisher provide different efficiency during the process of putting off a fire
source.
With the proposed method, the cost for advanced sensors and fire
extinguishers could be reduced. However, this system could be modified to reduce
the possibility of a system failure through the failure of one robot. All the mobile
robots could have the same sensor to detect fire and participate in the search. Once a
robot detects a fire, it starts to navigate towards the fire source. Stopping at a safe
distance, it starts sending formation sequence to other mobile robots. All robots will
act accordingly and put off the fire source more effectively and faster. This decrease
the period of the search and minimize the possibility of system failure.
All three experiments face a similar problem which is the position
displacement because of the encoder value and wheels that slip. However, the
objective of these experiments is not to prove the accuracy of mobile robots
locomotion. The main objective is to prove that Bluetooth technology is able to be
embedded on microcontroller based mobile robots wireless communication among
robots. Further improvement is essential to increase the accuracy of BlueBot’s
locomotion. All three experiments show that BlueBots could easily establish a
BlueBot’s PAN and start to communicate according to each experiment procedures.
141
No experiment is carried to validate the signal strength of Bluetooth PAN
since such tests have been carried out and explained in details by Magnus (2001) and
Karvosenoja (2002). However, it is necessary to validate since current developed
work is implementing Bluetooth technology on mobile robot with high mobility. It is
one of the proposed future works.
6.2.2
The Advantages and Disadvantages
The main advantage of microcontroller based mobile robots embedded with
Bluetooth is that wireless communication and networking could be realized without
the need of computer. In order words, by using a simple microcontroller system (low
frequency oscillator, small program memory, low cost and simple interface), a group
of mobile robots could easily form it own Bluetooth PAN and start communicating,
sharing information to achieve group objective.
Additionally, the nature of
Bluetooth transceiver and microcontroller system which consume low energy, could
provide more energy for the robot platform.
Therefore, many mobile robot
developments are based on microcontroller system. Furthermore, Bluetooth provides
the possibility of network expanding; making it more exposed to future researches
and development which would involve large number of mobile robots.
The
advantages of the robust communication system developed in this work are directly
applicable to any multi-robot system engaged in sharing information. The system is
not only applicable for robotics platform; other microcontroller based system such as
household equipment can also be used.
However, embedding Bluetooth protocol on microcontroller faces several
limitations as describe in section 2.8.2, one obvious disadvantage is that the protocol
stack has consume lot of program memory space of microcontroller. Meanwhile
another limitation is the communication speed between host and Bluetooth
transceiver since USB is not supported on microcontroller.
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6.3
Summary
Experiments were carried out to prove the practical of the proposed
BlueBot’s PAN. Three kinds of experiments were done to prove the establishments
of BlueBot’s PAN, communication between BlueBots and navigation of BlueBots in
group. The experiments result and the use of different wireless technologies are
discussed. These results show that the microcontroller based system is able to handle
the Bluetooth HCI protocol stack while performing its own robot control. The
platform is ready to be used for future research and development in multi-robot
system and Ad Hoc networking. The advantages and the disadvantages of the
embedding Bluetooth technology on microcontroller system are also discussed.
Conclusion of this work will be outlined in subsequence chapter. It also includes the
contribution and the proposed future development.
CHAPTER 7
CONCLUSIONS
In the introduction, it was stated that the main objective of the work presented
here is to develop Bluetooth Personal Area Network for three microcontroller based
mobile robots. The platform can also be used for Ad Hoc networking development
because Bluetooth technology is an Ad Hoc networking. Furthermore, this robot
platform can be used in multi-robot system development. With Ad Hoc networking,
more mobile robots could enter the PAN dynamically while the number of active
members can be increased. As shown in Chapter 4, the platform has a mobility
which is based on motor encoder. Since the work focused on embedding Bluetooth
HCI stack on microcontroller based mobile robot, straight forward robot control
algorithm was implemented.
In Section 7.1, an overview of the Bluetooth
technology for microcontroller based mobile robot is covered.
This is a short
summary of the research work done. The contributions of the work are presented in
Section 7.2. Future development is suggested in Section 7.3.
The work presented in this thesis is a combination of hardware and software
research work. Bluetooth proves to be a good choice in providing Personal Area
Network for mobile robots. Works have been carried out to develop communication
and networking of Bluetooth technology on computer based mobile robot, yet the
current developed work explores the possibility for Bluetooth technology to be
embedded on purely microcontroller based mobile robots. Hardware and software
design and implementation was discussed in detail. Every element was developed
144
and built from scratch.
Bluetooth Development kits from Sigma Teleca and
Motorola were used as Bluetooth transceivers.
The introduction chapter gave an overview and insight of the project aims
and objectives.
The literature review looked at previous developments and
implementations in the field of Bluetooth and pointed out the lack of
implementations for microcontroller based mobile robot. The third chapter gave the
technical background of Bluetooth technology and a deeper description on Bluetooth
Personal Area Network, which broadened the knowledge even more. The design
specification (Chapter 4 and 5) described all the components and interfaces required
to achieve the implementation.
complexity and tasks.
It gave an overall picture about the project
Finally the system was tested by carrying out some
experiments. The result and discussion of experiments have been documented in
Chapter 6.
Significant knowledge has been acquired during the project, in terms of
project
management,
hardware
design
and
verification,
software
design,
programming, integration and experimenting. Everything had to be designed from
scratch including the hardware and software. However, this gave the motivation to
get more electronics and mechanical skills, study deeper in the Bluetooth
specification and microcontroller based system. The PAN of mobile robot was
established and maintain by microcontroller based platform without the help of
computer based host.
Each Bluetooth transceiver is connected to host
(microcontroller) via USART interface. Bluetooth transceivers from two types of
development kits were used; however, Bluetooth modules from Ericsson can replace
these kits and reduce the size of overall platform. Assembly language was used to
develop the Bluetooth HCI stack and robot control architecture on the
microcontroller because assembly code is easier to be used and the compiler is freely
distributed. Although difficulty takes place when connecting Bluetooth transceivers
from different manufacturers, it has been over come. Bluetooth transceiver from
Motorola is configures as master node because it support point to multipoint
connections. However, when the transceiver from the master node (Motorola) tries
to establish a link with Bluetooth transceiver from Sigma Teleca, invalid data is
received as explained in section 5.3. To overcome this problem, a software routine
145
to check the validation of data received before the data is being processed is added.
Microcontrollers are equipped with easy program download feature – bootloader for
fast and easy testing of real time and real hardware programming. Range for the
PAN is approximately 10 meters in open air environment; instead, the range can still
reach 5 meters with different obstacles in the radio path. The range was not a
problem, which satisfy the communication between robots in developing multi-robot
system for cooperative work.
However, recently a Bluetooth transceiver was
introduced in market which can establish wireless link up to 100 meters range.
The microcontroller based mobile robots was tested for capabilities to
communicate with each other via Bluetooth transceiver and completed some group
task. Works can be carried out for further development in multi-robot system. This
project provides an embedded yet stable wireless communication on microcontroller
based platform.
7.1
Bluetooth Technology for Microcontroller Based Mobile Robot –
BlueBot
In order for multi-robot to cooperate to achieve a general goal,
communication must exist between these robots to allow them to share information
about their environment, coordination and task negotiation. Microcontroller based
mobile robots have a unique benefit compared to computer based mobile robots.
Among the obvious advantages are microcontroller based robots is more cost
effective and easy to setup. Furthermore, with the concept presented in the work by
Mohd Ridzuan (2003), “Complex, fast and intelligent multi-agent system comes from
an interaction of simple agent in both hardware and software domains”,
microcontroller based mobile robots have the ability to show great intelligence and
complete complex task when they cooperate together.
When dealing with mobile robots, power consumption of the system must be
taken into consideration. Sufficient power should be given to provide mobility for
the robot for a period of time. Microcontroller based systems consume less power
146
compared to computer based system.
Therefore it is suitable in mobile robot
implementation. Meanwhile, communication system between mobile robots should
have the same characteristic, low power consumption. Furthermore, consideration
on transceiver hardware size, data rate, communication range and the possibility of
networking were taken in.
wireless communication.
Bluetooth transceiver was proposed to provide the
Comparison between Bluetooth technology and other
wireless technologies was made in Chapter 2. Although more and more researches
have been carried out to embed Bluetooth transceiver onto robotic system, as
presented in Chapter 2, most system required at least a computer as the host for
master node of Bluetooth network to perform the network establishment and
management.
The proposed work explores the possibility to embed Bluetooth
technology on a stand alone microcontroller based robotics system.
Chapter 5
presented the HCI stack developed on each microcontroller and robot control
algorithm. Assembly language from Microchip Inc. was used for developing the
software on robot to optimize the size of program codes.
The existence of wireless communication cannot be showed without
hardware and application. Furthermore, microcontroller does not have displaying
tool such as a monitor to show the data transfer from one node to another. Therefore
three mobile robots were built to show the existence of Bluetooth wireless
communication between nodes. Chapter 4 present the concept and implementation
of BlueBots.
Hardware discussion includes construction of robot framework,
material used, selection of microcontroller, selection of motor, batteries used and
wheels selection. Every part of BlueBot is handmade from scratch. There are some
differences between the three BlueBots in term of wheels, size and weight.
Sufficient available space and the ability to carry extra heavy load make the robot
suitable for future development.
Chapter 6 presented the experiments carried out to show the Bluetooth
communication embedded on BlueBots. All experiments carried out were purely
microcontroller based system where no computer based system involved. All three
BlueBots are controlled by microcontroller. Furthermore, the establishment and
maintenance of BlueBot’s PAN is managed by microcontroller system. Although
three experiments have different robot control algorithms, all the objectives were to
147
prove that Bluetooth technology could be embedded on microcontroller based system
performing different kind of tasks.
Furthermore, the communication algorithm
developed seems to be stable because data communication error is very low.
7.2
Contributions of the Work
The contributions of the work can be divided into two areas, which are
contribution embedding Bluetooth technology on purely microcontroller based
mobile robot system and contribution in providing a Bluetooth communication
platform for multi-robot system development and Ad Hoc networking study.
7.2.1
Embedded Bluetooth Technology on Microcontroller Based Mobile
Robots
As discussed in section 1.2, communication increases the performance of
robots. Thus communication is essential for multi-robot system when it comes to
cooperative work. In section 1.3, a problem is raised, in whether a microcontroller
based system can sufficiently handle Bluetooth protocol to establish a Personal Area
Network while maintaining the robot control. Thus the main contribution of this
work is the embedded of Bluetooth HCI stack on microcontroller based robot system.
The contributions are listed below:
1. Bluetooth HCI protocol stack developed can be embedded in PIC
series of microcontroller from Microchip. Inc which will be very
useful for future development.
Assembly language used can be
easily understood and modified to suit the future development.
2. It enabled microcontroller based system to establish its own
Bluetooth Personal Area Network and communicate with each other.
Sending or sharing information is possible without the help from
computer host.
148
3. The software stack for the master node of Bluetooth point to
multipoint network is another contribution.
The communication
developed is not restricted for point to point, it is a point to multipoint
communication. When multipoint is involved, the master of network
will need to manage the data flow between nodes, therefore
increasing the processing load of the master host, yet the software
developed shows stable system.
4. Bluetooth transceivers from different manufacturers can be
successfully connected. Two types of Bluetooth transceivers are used
in this work, two from Motorola, another from Sigma Teleca
(Ericsson Module). Although there are problems occurred during the
development period, it has been solved as discussed in section 5.3.
7.2.2
Platform for Multi-robot System Using Bluetooth and platform for
Bluetooth Ad Hoc Networking
1. Bluetooth PAN is an Ad Hoc network. Ad Hoc networking enabled
devices to enter and leave a network easily. This work provides the
platform for future development and study on Ad Hoc networking for
high mobility nodes.
Since the basic HCI stack and Bluetooth
transceiver is nicely embedded on the system, it can be easily
modified for the proposed work.
2. Besides, this platform can be developed for multi-robot system. The
purpose of the proposed Bluetooth communication is to provide multirobot system with reliable and flexible communication. Thus, it is
suitable to be used as cooperative robots system. The experiments
carried out show a stable multi-robot system. With additional robot
control architecture and modification on hardware, this platform may
be programmed to perform a specific cooperative task.
With its
149
strong and stable hardware framework, the platform could carry heavy
load.
3. It introduces a systematic way to design and build mobile robot for
indoor use. Chapter 4 explains the design and implementation of
BlueBot from scratch in details. The information presents a guideline
for robot builder to build their robot.
7.3
Future Development
Current work on the Personal Area Network for mobile robots using
Bluetooth transceiver has some limitations because it is still in the development
stage. There are still rooms for improvement. Since the work presented is the
combination of robotics and wireless communication, the future development can be
tremendously a lot. Future development is suggested to focus on several directions,
as discussed below.
i.
Bluetooth PAN signal strength and coverage area.
To find out the signal strength and signal distribution of Bluetooth network is
one of the proposed future works since it will affect the communication
throughput and the maintenance of each link within the PAN.
ii.
Multi-robot System.
As outlined in previous section, the platform needs further development to be
applied in multi-robot system. This area is intensively being developed and
explored by researches all around the world.
Off course, additional
intelligences and sensors is necessary for this platform to perform cooperative
task. The number of robots could be increased according to the requirement.
There are still a lot of program memory spaces for future development of
robot control architecture. Additional behavior modules could be developed
to be implemented on BlueBots and perform the required task.
150
iii.
Scatternet and Ad Hoc Networking.
Bluetooth offer two power save modes (Hold and Sniff) which could be used
for scatternet establishment (Har-Shai et al., 2002). Scatternet involve larger
network compared to piconet, therefore further development is necessary to
allow more mobile robots to communicate and work together.
Ad Hoc
networking is one of the major interests in mobile devices communication,
where nodes could easily enter or leave the network. It is very useful for
mobile robot research development since mobile robots are easy to move out
of communication range and enter another network again. Bluetooth PAN
could be developed to become an Ad Hoc network.
iv.
Implementation of Bluetooth higher layer protocol.
The work presented implement lowest Bluetooth protocol – HCI stack on
host side, and there are higher protocols that can be implemented, such as
L2CAP, SDP and RFCOMM.
L2CAP allows larger data size
communication. RFCOMM provides a virtual serial com port for hosts to
communicate.
possible.
Sending large data such as image information could be
Furthermore, higher layer protocol is essential for higher
application protocol such as TCP/IP.
v.
Source code optimization.
Although using assembly language is expected to minimize the memory
space required, it still consume of few thousand lines. Thus combination of C
language and assembly is one of the proposed future developments.
Furthermore, C compiler provides mathematical functions which could be
used to develop complex algorithm. Floating point could be used in wheel
velocity, robot orientation and other mathematical functions. C-18 compiler
from Microchip Inc provides the linker function which can be used to
combine C language and assembly codes. It is suggested to embed the HCI
stack and ISR written in assembly code on the main program with C
language.
151
vi.
Hardware development.
As experienced in Chapter 6, one common problem is the accuracy of
BlueBots’s locomotion after pivoting or moving.
These problems occur
because BlueBot depends totally on the calculation of encoder value. Sensors
such as digital compass can be added to provide high accuracy angle
pivoting. Orientation of BlueBots can be obtained from this sensor. Further
hardware development can applied to the control of DC brushless motor.
PIC18F458 microcontroller provides 2 PWM pins which can generate
difference level of voltage between 0V to 5V. This function is suitable to be
the external DC voltage level for speed control of DC brushless motor.
Therefore controlling speed through software is possible. LCD display could
be added to the controller board for more informative display.
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APPENDIX A
Bluetooth Application and Training Tool Kit
160
161
APPENDIX B
71000 Bluetooth Development Kit
163
164
165
166
167
168
169
170
APPENDIX C
Technical Detail of AXH Series Oriental DC Brushless Motor
172
173
174
175
176
177
178
179
APPENDIX D
Schematic Diagram of PIC18F458 Microcontroller Board
181
APPENDIX E
Infrared Proximity Sensor Data Sheet
183
184
185
186
APPENDIX F
“MPLAB Quick Start” Manual, PIC 16F/18F Bootloader,
BlueBot’s Source Code and Video Clips for Experiments
188
File Name
Description
MPLAB
“MPLAB Quick Start” Manual
P18F Bootloader
PIC 16F/18F Bootloader
Source Codes (Folder)
Source Codes of BlueBots
Experiments Video (Folder) Video Clips for Experiments.
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