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Proceedings Paper

Distributed control system for vehicles
Author(s): Jeffrey N. Callen; John M. Iaconis
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Paper Abstract

Previously, control systems for remotely controlled vehicles (RCVs) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) have largely been of a centralized design, in which all vehicles sensing and servo control systems are individually interfaces to a central computer. These controllers often have been completely redeveloped for each new application. This approach leads to increased development, installation, and maintenance costs, and to a product that is not easily adaptable to other platforms or tasks. Under a Phase II SBIR program, RedZone Robotics is developing a distributed control systems (DCS) that reduces development, installation, and maintenance costs while enhancing adaptability to other platforms or applications. The DCS consists of a distributed control network of small, intelligent local controller nodes acting on the vehicle motion and sensing system components. A central card oversees the network and handles higher level commands. The central card and local nodes are linked through the controller area network serial bus. The node hardware is of standardized design so that application specific tasks are largely accomplished in software. The standardized design makes the DCS potentially compatible with multiple UGV platforms and eventual dual-use applications in commercial vehicles. More sophisticated functionality, such as remote control or autonomous navigation can be layered on top of the low level control supplied by DCS. Thus, the DCS can be an enabling component for development of advanced UGV technologies. ALso, intelligent nodes enable fault identification and orderly shutdown to be accomplished directly at the vehicle actuators. This SBIR is sponsored by the US Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 January 1997
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2903, Mobile Robots XI and Automated Vehicle Control Systems, (23 January 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.265341
Show Author Affiliations
Jeffrey N. Callen, RedZone Robotics, Inc. (United States)
John M. Iaconis, RedZone Robotics, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2903:
Mobile Robots XI and Automated Vehicle Control Systems
Chase H. Kenyon; Pushkin Kachroo, Editor(s)

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