Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Gilbert L. Peterson, PhD


Robots of varying autonomy have been used to take the place of humans in dangerous tasks. While robots are considered more expendable than human beings, they are complex to develop and expensive to replace if lost. Recent technological advances produce small, inexpensive hardware platforms that are powerful enough to match robots from just a few years ago. There are many types of autonomous control architecture that can be used to control these hardware platforms. One in particular, the Unified Behavior Framework, is a flexible, responsive control architecture that is designed to simplify the control system’s design process through behavior module reuse, and provides a means to speed software development. However, it has not been applied on embedded systems in robots. This thesis presents a development of the Unified Behavior Framework on the Mini-WHEGS™, a biologically inspired, embedded robotic platform. The Mini-WHEGS™ is a small robot that utilize wheel- legs to emulate cockroach walking patterns. Wheel-legs combine wheels and legs for high mobility without the complex control system required for legs. A color camera and a rotary encoder completes the robot, enabling the Mini-WHEGS™ to identify color objects and track its position. A hardware abstraction layer designed for the Mini-WHEGS™ in this configuration decouples the control system from the hardware and provide the interface between the software and the hardware. The result is a highly mobile embedded robot system capable of exchanging behavior modules with much larger robots while requiring little or no change to the modules.

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DTIC Accession Number