Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

IT, Resource Productivity, Environmental Preservation, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

More robots, more energy: who knew?

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From “A case study of mobile robot’s energy consumption and conservation techniques,” by Yongguo Mei Yung-Hsiang Lu Hu, Y.C. Lee, C.S.G.

Mobile robots are used in many applications, such as carpet cleaning, pickup and delivery, search and rescue, and entertainment. Energy limitation is one of the most important challenges for mobile robots. Most existing studies on mobile robots focus on motion planning to reduce motion power. However, motion is not the only power consumer. In this paper, we present a case study of a mobile robot called Pioneer 3DX. We analyze the energy consumers. We build power models for motion, sonar sensing and control based on experimental results. The results show that motion consumes less than 50% power on average. Therefore, it is important to consider the other components in energy-efficient designs. We introduce two energy-conservation techniques: dynamic power management and real-time scheduling. We provide several examples showing how these techniques can be applied to robots. These techniques together with motion planning provide greater opportunities to achieve better energy efficiency for mobile robots. Although our study is based on a specific robot, the approach can be applied to other types of robots


Author: nigelpm

Associate Professor of Information Systems, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan - Helping organizations to navigate digital transformation.

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