A Master of Science thesis in Mechatronics Engineering by Mariam Qusai Al-Sagban entitled, "Autonomous Robot Navigation Based on Recurrent Neural Networks," submitted in May 2012. Thesis advisor is Dr. Rached Dhaouadi. Available are both soft and hard copies of the thesis.
The main objective of this research is to present a reactive navigation algorithm for wheeled mobile robots under non-holonomic constraints and in unknown environments. Two techniques are proposed: a geometrical based technique and a neural network based technique. The mobile robot travels to a pre-defined goal position safely and efficiently without any prior map of the environment by modulating its steering angle and turning radius. The dimensions and shape of the robot are incorporated to determine the set of all possible collision-free steering angles. The algorithm then selects the best steering angle candidate. In the geometrical navigation technique, a safe turning radius is computed based on an equation derived from the geometry of the problem. On the other hand, the neural-based technique aims to generate an optimized trajectory by using a user-defined objective function which minimizes the traveled distance to the goal position while avoiding obstacles. A mobile robot is developed to test the performances of the two algorithms. The results demonstrate that the algorithms are capable of driving the robot safely across a variety of indoor environments.