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Developing a person guidance module for hospital robots

Hasan, Muhammad Kamrul (2013) Developing a person guidance module for hospital robots. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.

This dissertation describes the design and implementation of the Person Guidance Module (PGM) that enables the IWARD (Intelligent Robot Swarm for attendance, Recognition, Cleaning and delivery) base robot to offer route guidance service to the patients or visitors inside the hospital arena. One of the common problems encountered in huge hospital buildings today is foreigners not being able to find their way around in the hospital. Although there are a variety of guide robots currently existing on the market and offering a wide range of guidance and related activities, they do not fit into the modular concept of the IWARD project. The PGM features a robust and foolproof non-hierarchical sensor fusion approach of an active RFID, stereovision and cricket mote sensor for guiding a patient to the X-ray room, or a visitor to a patient’s ward in every possible scenario in a complex, dynamic and crowded hospital environment. Moreover, the speed of the robot can be adjusted automatically according to the pace of the follower for physical comfort using this system. Furthermore, the module performs these tasks in any unconstructed environment solely from a robot’s onboard perceptual resources in order to limit the hardware installation costs and therefore the indoor setting support. Similar comprehensive solution in one single platform has remained elusive in existing literature. The finished module can be connected to any IWARD base robot using quick-change mechanical connections and standard electrical connections. The PGM module box is equipped with a Gumstix embedded computer for all module computing which is powered up automatically once the module box is inserted into the robot. In line with the general software architecture of the IWARD project, all software modules are developed as Orca2 components and cross-complied for Gumstix’s XScale processor. To support standardized communication between different software components, Internet Communications Engine (Ice) has been used as middleware. Additionally, plug-and-play capabilities have been developed and incorporated so that swarm system is aware at all times of which robot is equipped with PGM. Finally, in several field trials in hospital environments, the person guidance module has shown its suitability for a challenging real-world application as well as the necessary user acceptance.
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Date of Award:March 2013
Supervisor(s):Szecsi, Tamas
Uncontrolled Keywords:Person Guidance Module; PGM; Robotic Systems; IWARD
Subjects:Engineering > Mechanical engineering
Engineering > Signal processing
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Engineering and Computing > School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:17550
Deposited On:04 Apr 2013 13:23 by Tamas Szecsi . Last Modified 19 Jul 2018 14:57

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