Nonholonomic Robotic Systems are a class of system with significant practical and theoretical interest, where nonholonomic constraints restrict the instantaneous motion of the system. Robotic systems in this class, include wheeled mobile robots, orbiting spacecraft equipped with manipulator arms and dextrous robotic hands manipulating objects. The presence of nonholonomic constraints makes problematic the application of traditional Control, Sensing and Motion Planning schemes for mobile robots with on-board sensors.
The extension of visual servoing and, in particular, of the task function framework to nonholonomic mobile robotic systems is the primary objective of this project. This will be attempted by exploiting novel control-theoretic advances in the closed-loop control of these systems. It is expected that the first 9 months of the project will be devoted to a review of the state of the art in this area, to establishing the theoretical framework of this approach and to testing it by computer simulations, while the remaining 3 months will be devoted to implementations and experiments with ICARE's experimental testbed, a mobile nonholonomic cart. carrying a hand-eye system and a sonar belt.