Towards increased autonomy of a rail-guided robot for the inspection of ballast water tanks
In the scope of the SmartBot project a rail-guided robot was developed to perform inspections of ballast water tanks: the RoboShip platform. While the maturity of the hardware greatly increased during previous projects, the software is still rudimentary.
In this project, the platform is transformed from a tele-operated robot to an autonomic inspection system. Since both the environment and task at hand are not fully known and challenging, implementing full autonomy at once (effectively replacing the human operator) is not realistic. This thesis performs an analysis of the challenging aspects of introducing autonomy to the RoboShip platform, and proposes a control architecture that allows for implementing autonomy. The architecture is partially implemented and tested in simulation.