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Increasing the level of automation in the forestry logging process with crane trajectory planning and control
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics. (Robotics & Control Lab)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics. (Robotics & Control Lab)
Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet .
Department of Transmission and Hybrid Systems, IAV Automotive Engineering, Berlin, Germany.
Show others and affiliations
2014 (English)In: Journal of Field Robotics, ISSN 1556-4959, E-ISSN 1556-4967, Vol. 31, no 3, 343-363 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Working with forestry machines requires great amount of training to be sufficiently skilledto operate forestry cranes. In view of this, introducing automated motions, as those seenin robotic arms, is ambitioned by this industry for shortening the amount of training timeand make the work of the operator easier. Motivated by this fact, we have developedtwo experimental platforms for testing control systems and motion planning algorithms inreal-time. They correspond to a laboratory setup and a commercial version of a hydraulicmanipulator used in forwarder machines. The aim of this article is to present the results ofthis development by providing an overview of our trajectory planning algorithm and motioncontrol method, with a subsequent view of the experimental results. For motion control,we design feedback controllers that are able to track reference trajectories based on sensormeasurements. Likewise, we provide arguments to design controllers in open-loop for thecase of machines lacking of sensing devices. Relying on the tracking efficiency of thesecontrollers, we design time efficient reference trajectories of motions that correspond tologging tasks. To demonstrate performance, we provide an overview of an extensive testingdone on these machines.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2014. Vol. 31, no 3, 343-363 p.
Keyword [en]
tree harvesting systems; robotic manipulators; excavator; industrialization
National Category
Robotics Control Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-86214DOI: 10.1002/rob.21496ISI: 000333934200001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-86214DiVA: diva2:710077
Available from: 2014-04-04 Created: 2014-02-20 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Semi-Automating Forestry Machines: Motion Planning, System Integration, and Human-Machine Interaction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Semi-Automating Forestry Machines: Motion Planning, System Integration, and Human-Machine Interaction
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Delautomatisering av skogsmaskiner : Rörelseplanering, systemintegration och människa-maskin-interaktion
Abstract [en]

The process of forest harvesting is highly mechanized in most industrialized countries, with felling and processing of trees performed by technologically advanced forestry machines. However, the maneuvering of the vehicles through the forest as well as the control of the on-board hydraulic boom crane is currently performed through continuous manual operation. This complicates the introduction of further incremental productivity improvements to the machines, as the operator becomes a bottleneck in the process. A suggested solution strategy is to enhance the production capacity by increasing the level of automation. At the same time, the working environment for the operator can be improved by a reduced workload, provided that the human-machine interaction is adapted to the new automated functionality.

The objectives of this thesis are 1) to describe and analyze the current logging process and to locate areas of improvements that can be implemented in current machines, and 2) to investigate future methods and concepts that possibly require changes in work methods as well as in the machine design and technology. The thesis describes the development and integration of several algorithmic methods and the implementation of corresponding software solutions, adapted to the forestry machine context. Following data recording and analysis of the current work tasks of machine operators, trajectory planning and execution for a specific category of forwarder crane motions has been identified as an important first step for short term automation. Using the method of path-constrained trajectory planning, automated crane motions were demonstrated to potentially provide a substantial improvement from motions performed by experienced human operators. An extension of this method was developed to automate some selected motions even for existing sensorless machines. Evaluation suggests that this method is feasible for a reasonable deviation of initial conditions.

Another important aspect of partial automation is the human-machine interaction. For this specific application a simple and intuitive interaction method for accessing automated crane motions was suggested, based on head tracking of the operator. A preliminary interaction model derived from user experiments yielded promising results for forming the basis of a target selection method, particularly when combined with some traded control strategy. Further, a modular software platform was implemented, integrating several important components into a framework for designing and testing future interaction concepts. Specifically, this system was used to investigate concepts of teleoperation and virtual environment feedback. Results from user tests show that visual information provided by a virtual environment can be advantageous compared to traditional video feedback with regards to both objective and subjective evaluation criteria.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2014. 56 p.
Series
Robotics and control lab, ISSN 1654-5419 ; 6
Keyword
Forestry Robotics, Forest Machine Automation, Trajectory Planning, Hydraulic Manipulators, Teleoperation, Virtual Environments, Interaction Methods, Head Tracking
National Category
Robotics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-89067 (URN)978-91-7601-061-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-11, MIT-huset, MA121, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-05-21 Created: 2014-05-20 Last updated: 2014-05-20Bibliographically approved
2. Virtual Holonomic Constraints: from academic to industrial applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Virtual Holonomic Constraints: from academic to industrial applications
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Whether it is a car, a mobile phone, or a computer, we are noticing how automation and production with robots plays an important role in the industry of our modern world. We find it in factories, manufacturing products, automotive cruise control, construction equipment, autopilot on airplanes, and countless other industrial applications.

        Automation technology can vary greatly depending on the field of application. On one end, we have systems that are operated by the user and rely fully on human ability. Examples of these are heavy-mobile equipment, remote controlled systems, helicopters, and many more. On the other end, we have autonomous systems that are able to make algorithmic decisions independently of the user.

        Society has always envisioned robots with the full capabilities of humans. However, we should envision applications that will help us increase productivity and improve our quality of life through human-robot collaboration. The questions we should be asking are: “What tasks should be automated?'', and “How can we combine the best of both humans and automation?”. This thinking leads to the idea of developing systems with some level of autonomy, where the intelligence is shared between the user and the system. Reasonably, the computerized intelligence and decision making would be designed according to mathematical algorithms and control rules.

        This thesis considers these topics and shows the importance of fundamental mathematics and control design to develop automated systems that can execute desired tasks. All of this work is based on some of the most modern concepts in the subjects of robotics and control, which are synthesized by a method known as the Virtual Holonomic Constraints Approach. This method has been useful to tackle some of the most complex problems of nonlinear control, and has enabled the possibility to approach challenging academic and industrial problems. This thesis shows concepts of system modeling, control design, motion analysis, motion planning, and many other interesting subjects, which can be treated effectively through analytical methods. The use of mathematical approaches allows performing computer simulations that also lead to direct practical implementations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2015. 57 p.
Series
Robotics and control lab, ISSN 1654-5419 ; 7
Keyword
Virtual Holonomic Constraints, modeling, control, motion planning, under-actuated systems, forestry cranes, hydraulic manipulators
National Category
Control Engineering Robotics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-87707 (URN)978-91-7601-196-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-02-02, MA121, MIT-Huset, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-01-12 Created: 2014-04-07 Last updated: 2015-01-12Bibliographically approved

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