CuWITH: a curiosity driven robot for office environmental security
Gordon, Sean William
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The protection of assets is an important part of daily life. Currently this is done using a combination of passive security cameras and security officers actively patrolling the premises. However, security officers, being human, are subject to a number of limitations both physical and mental. A security robot would not suffer from these limitations, however currently there are a number of challenges to implementing such a robot. These challenges include navigation in a complex real-world environment, fast and accurate threat detection and threat tracking. Overcoming these challenges is the focus of my research. To that end a small security robot, the CuWITH or Curious WITH,has been developed and is presented in this thesis. The CuWITH utilises a programmable navigation system, curiosity-based threat detection and curiosity-driven threat tracking curiosity to protect a real office environment. In this thesis we will first discuss the CuWITH's system design in detail, with a particular focus on the components and the architectural strategies employed. We then move to a more detailed examination of the mathematical underpinnings of the CuWITHs curiosity based threat detection and curiosity driven threat tracking. The details of the CuWITH's navigation will also be explained. We will then present a number of experiments which demonstrate the effectiveness of the CuWITH. We show that the programmable navigation of the CuWITH, although simple, allows for easy modification of the patrol path without risk to the stability of the system. We will then present the results of both offline and online testing of the CuWITH's curiosity based threat detection. The reaction time and accuracy of the CuWITHs curiosity driven threat tracking will also be illustrated. As a final test the CuWITH is instructed to execute a patrol in a real office environment, with threatening and non-threatening persons present. The results of this test demonstrate all major systems of the CuWITH working together very well and successfully executing the patrol even when moved to a different environment.