The MOLAM Project: The design of a context specific navigation framework for a mobile robot

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Ashesi University College recently acquired a TurtleBot1 robotic platform to experiment with service robotics on campus. This platform runs the Robotics Operating System (ROS)2 for developing robotics applications. This MOLAM project (Motion, Localization And Mapping) sought to build a fundamental framework that extends ROS functionalities on a TurtleBot to navigate autonomously around the Ashesi campus in Berekuso. The focus of this project was to extend the ROS enabled functionalities on the TurtleBot for mapping, localization and motion planning to create a customized navigation framework suited for the Ashesi University campus. Having such a foundation, other service applications, such as a waiter robotic system, a courier robotic system, a tour guide robotic system etc., can be built on this framework. This paper outlines the various tools and processes used in assembling and configuring this robotic system. It also delineates the challenges encountered in assembling and configuring this robotics system, as well as the “work-arounds” devised to solve these challenges. Finally, this paper proposes design concepts for future work in using the TurtleBot system as a Tour Guide Robotic System for Ashesi University College.
Applied project submitted to the Department of Computer Science, Ashesi University College, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, April 2013
TurtleBot, Robotics Operating System, Ashesi University College, robotics