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International Journal of Engineering Trends and Technology (IJETT) volume 5 number 2 - Nov 2013

ISSN: 2231-5381 http://www.ijettjournal.org Page 102

Autonomous Stair Climbing with Re-configurable
Tracked Mobile Robot
, S. Riyazuddin

Post graduate in Embedded Systems
, Assistant professor in ECE
, Department of ECE, Annamacharya Institute of
Technology & Sciences, Rajampet, AP, India.

AbstractAn embedded system can be defined as a computing
device that does a specific focused job. Appliances such as the
air-conditioner, VCD player, DVD player, printer, fax machine,
mobile phone etc. are examples of embedded systems. Each of
these appliances will have a processor and special hardware to
meet the specific requirement of the application along with the
embedded software that is executed by the processor for meeting
that specific requirement. Some of the mobile robots are
designed to operate only on natural terrains, but some other also
for rough terrains and artificial environments including
stairways. In the age of ubiquitous systems it is necessary to be
able to monitor the robots from everywhere. Although many
methods to remotely control robots have been devised, the
methods have the problems such as the need for special devices
or software to control the robots. This paper suggests an
advanced method for robotic control using the DTMF
technology. Until recent years, the stair climbing robots are
designed with vast hardware and robots are equipped with
wheels to climb stairs or to move on a flat surface. The
controlling mechanism has been advanced with the development
of mobile robots. This paper addresses the design and
implementation of DTMF controlled stair climbing robot. This
climbing robot is operated with ARM7TDMI (LPC2148)
controller. The mechanical design of the robot contains the roller
chains instead of wheels and rubber blocks are attached to the
roller chains to generate high friction with ground. Experimental
trials showed that the implementation of the behaviour control
systems was successful.

KeywordsControl, mobile Robot, PIC LPC2148, DTMF
technology, roller chains.
A robot is a mechanical or virtual agent, usually an electro-
mechanical machine that is guided by a computer programor
electronic circuitry. Robots can be autonomous or semi-
autonomous and range from humanoids such as Honda's
Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility (ASIMO) and TOSY's
TOSY Ping Pong Playing Robot (TOPIO) to industrial robots,
collectively programmed 'swarm' robots, and even
microscopic nano robots. By mimicking a lifelike appearance
or automating movements, a robot may convey a sense of
intelligence or thought of its own. Stair-way is always a
typical obstacle for indoor environments and disaster scenes.
In the mobile robotics field, various research efforts have been
directed towards the development of stair-climbing capability
of robots. Because of the limitation on the dimension of these
smaller stair-climbing robots, it is necessary to find an
appropriate and steady control method that can improve the
stair-climbing procedure. Most of the control methods have
been researched is developed based on the predicting and
estimate of the stability of the robot in the stair-climbing
process, such as Zero Moment Point, Center of Gravity
Project Method and Static Stability Margin. We have
proposed an online stair-climbing control method in this paper.
Mobile robots have the capability to move around in their
environment and are not fixed to one physical location. An
example of a mobile robot that is in common use today is the
automated guided vehicle or automatic guided vehicle (AGV).
An AGV is a mobile robot that follows markers or wires in the
floor, or uses vision or lasers.[citation needed] AGVs are
discussed later in this article.

Mobile robots are also found in industry, military and
security environments. They also appear as consumer products,
for entertainment or to perform certain tasks like vacuum
cleaning. Mobile robots are the focus of a great deal of current
research and almost every major university has one or more
labs that focus on mobile robot research.[citation needed]

Mobile robots are usually used in tightly controlled
environments such as on assembly lines because they have
difficulty responding to unexpected interference. Because of
this most humans rarely encounter robots. However domestic
robots for cleaning and maintenance are increasingly common
in and around homes in developed countries. Robots can also
be found in military applications. The existing systemwhich
includes only one part that is the robot is moved fromone
placed to another placed. The centre of gravity of existing
robot which is outside of the robot compared to proposed
system, so that the contained objects may easily fall in the
stair case. Because of this reason the proposed system is
The purpose of the designed robots in intends to carry loads
up and down stairs. It needs tremendous effect on expense and
time. Furthermore In the paper, a cheap and simple stair-
climbing robot will be designed to provide the service of
carrying objects up and down stairs. It is well-known that the
most effective style of movement for a robot on a plane field
is the wheel type. However, our robot is equipped with roller
chains which are attached with rubber blocks to generate
friction with ground and stairs for climbing up and down. The
International Journal of Engineering Trends and Technology (IJETT) volume 5 number 2 - Nov 2013

ISSN: 2231-5381 http://www.ijettjournal.org Page 103

robot is controlled through DTMF technology. The robot can
be controlled fromanywhere in the world.
Stair climbing is the climbing of a flight of stairs. It is often
described as a "low-impact" exercise, often for people who
have recently started trying to get in shape. A common
exhortation in health pop culture is "Take the stairs, not the
elevator". Robotic stair climbers assist with transporting
objects and packages up and down a flight of stairs. Figure1
presents the block diagramof the stair climbing robot. Here
the robot is controlling through DTMF technology and robot
is autonomous based on roller chains and rubber blocks. Here
the robot is equipped with sensors and cameras in order to
provide awareness to the rescue personnel before they enter a
possibly dangerous area. The ARM7TDMI (LPC2148)
controller acts as processing unit. The controller is mainly
interfaced to DTMF decoder and driver circuits to the
Robot. The controller also connected to the GSM module,
which sends information to rescue personnel about the
dangerous area where robot is climbing or running.

Fig. 1 Block Diagram
This generation introduced the Thumb 16-bit
instruction set providing improved code density compared to
previous designs. The most widely used ARM7 designs
implement the ARMv4T architecture, but some implement
ARMv3 or ARMv5TEJ. All these designs use a Von
Neumann architecture, thus the few versions comprising a
cache do not separate data and instruction caches.

Some ARM7 cores are obsolete. One historically
significant model, the ARM7DI[1] is notable for having
introduced JTAG based on-chip debugging; the preceding
ARM6 cores did not support it. The "D" represented a J TAG
TAP for debugging; the "I" denoted an ICEBreaker debug
module supporting hardware breakpoints and watchpoints,
and letting the systembe stalled for debugging. Subsequent
cores included and enhanced this support.

It is a versatile processor designed for mobile devices
and other low power electronics. This processor architecture is
capable of up to 130 MIPS on a typical 0.13 m process. The
ARM7TDMI processor core implements ARM architecture
v4T. The processor supports both 32-bit and 16-bit
instructions via the ARM and Thumb instruction sets.

ARM licenses the processor to various
semiconductor companies, which design full chips based on
the ARM processor architecture. The LPC2119 is based on a
16/32 bit ARM7TDMI-S CPU with real-time emulation and
embedded trace support, together with 128/256 kilobytes (kB)
of embedded high speed ash memory. A 128-bit wide
memory interface and a unique accelerator architecture enable
32-bit code execution at maximumclock rate. For critical
code size applications, the alternative 16-bit Thumb Mode
reduces code by more than 30 % with minimal performance
penalty. With their compact 64 pin package, low power
consumption, various 32-bit timers, 4-channel 10-bit ADC, 2
advanced CAN channels, PWM channels and 46 GPIO lines
with up to 9 external interrupt pins these microcontrollers are
particularly suitable for automotive and industrial control
applications as well as medical systems and fault-tolerant
maintenance buses. With a wide range of additional serial
communications interfaces, they are also suited for
communication gateways and protocol converters as well as
many other general-purpose applications.

Key Features:
16/32-bit ARM7TDMI-S microcontroller in a tiny
LQFP64 package.
16 kB on-chip Static RAM.
128/256 kB on-chip Flash ProgramMemory. 128-bit wide
interface/accelerator enables high speed 60 MHz operation.
In-System Programming (ISP) and In-Application
Programming (IAP) via on-chip boot-loader software. Flash
programming takes 1 ms per 512 byte line. Single sector or
full chip erase takes 400 ms.
Embedded ICE-RT interface enables breakpoints and
watch points. Interrupt service routines can continue to
execute while the foreground task is debugged with the on-
chip Real Monitor software.
Embedded Trace Macro cell enables non-intrusive high
speed real-time tracing of instruction execution.
Two interconnected CAN interfaces with advanced
acceptance FIlters.
Four channel 10-bit A/D converter with conversion time as
low as 2.44 s.
Multiple serial interfaces including two UARTs (16C550),
Fast I2C (400 kbits/s)and two SPIs
60MHz maximum CPU clock available from
programmable on-chip Phase-Locked Loop with settling time
of 100 s.
Vectored Interrupt Controller with configurable priorities
and vector addresses.
Two 32-bit timers (with four capture and four compare
channels), PWM unit (six outputs), Real Time Clock and
International Journal of Engineering Trends and Technology (IJETT) volume 5 number 2 - Nov 2013

ISSN: 2231-5381 http://www.ijettjournal.org Page 104

Up to forty-six 5 V tolerant general purpose I/O pins. Up
to nine edge or level sensitive external interrupt pins available.
On-chip crystal oscillator with an operating range of 1
MHz to 30 MHz.
Two low power modes, Idle and Power-down.
Processor wake-up fromPower-down mode via external
Individual enable/disable of peripheral functions for power
Dual power supply:
CPU operating voltage range of 1.65 V to 1.95 V
(1.8 V 0.15 V).
I/O power supply range of 3.0 V to 3.6 V (3.3 V
10 %) with 5 V tolerant I/O pads.

(B) MODULE-2 DTMF Technology:
Dual-tone multi-frequency signaling (DTMF) is used
for telecommunication signaling over analog telephone lines
in the voice-frequency band between telephone handsets and
other communications devices and the switching center. The
version of DTMF that is used in push-button telephones for
tone dialling is known as Touch-Tone. It was developed by
Western Electric and first used by the Bell System in
commerce, using that name as a registered trademark. DTMF
is standardized by ITU-T Recommendation Q.23. It is also
known in the UK as MF4.

Other multi-frequency systems are used for internal
signaling within the telephone network.

Introduced by AT&T in 1963,[1] the Touch-Tone
system using the telephone keypad gradually replaced the use
of rotary dial and has become the industry standard for
landline service.DTMF Technology is one of the wireless
communication methodology used to control the robots.
Conventionally, past robots are controlled by using RF
circuits, which have the drawbacks of limited working range,
limited frequency range and limited control. Thats why use of
a mobile phone for robotic control can overcome these
limitations; this provides the advantage of robust control, and
working range as large as coverage area is available. One of
the biggest advantages of mobile controlled robots is long
lasting. In this paper, the robot is controlled by a mobile
phone that makes a signal to the mobile phone attached to the
robot. If any button is pressed then a tone corresponding to the
button is heard at other end of the call. This tone is called
Dual Tone Multi Frequency (DTMF) tone. Here the received
tone is decoded into 4 bit binary number by using MT8870
DTMF decoder. This binary code is processed by the
LPC2148 controller. The controller is pre programmed to take
the decision for the given input then motor runs and robot
moves in a specified direction. MT8870 is an 18 pin DIP
package, the internal diagram explains how a DTMF tone
converted to 4bit code. Mainly it contains digital detection
algorithmand code converter latch to perform this action. The
signal generated by the DTMF encoder is the amplitudes of
two sine (cosine) waves of different frequencies, i.e., pressing
7 will send a tone made by adding 1209 Hz and 852 Hz to
the other end of the line.

The most commonly used Character based LCDs are
based on Hitachi's HD44780 controller or other which are
compatible with HD44580. In this tutorial, we will discuss
about character based LCDs, their interfacing with various
microcontrollers, various interfaces (8-bit/4-bit), programming,
special stuff and tricks you can do with these simple looking
LCDs which can give a new look to your application. The
most commonly used LCDs found in the market today are 1
Line, 2 Line or 4 Line LCDs which have only 1 controller and
support at most of 80 characters, whereas LCDs supporting
more than 80 characters make use of 2 HD44780 controllers.

L293D is a dual H-bridge motor driver integrated circuit
(IC). The current from the microcontroller is only of the order
of 1A which is not sufficient to drive the motors. Therefore
motor drivers are used which act as current amplifiers since
they take a low-current control signal and provide a higher-
current signal which is used to drive the motors.
L293D contains two inbuilt H-bridge driver circuits. In its
common mode of operation, two DC motors can be driven
simultaneously, both in forward and reverse direction. The
motor operations of two motors can be controlled by input
logic at pins 2 & 7 and 10 & 15. Input logic 00 or 11 will stop
the corresponding motor. Logic 01 and 10 will rotate it in
clockwise and anticlockwise directions, respectively.

Enable pins 1 and 9 (corresponding to the two motors) must
be high for motors to start operating. When an enable input is
high, the associated driver gets enabled. As a result, the
outputs become active and work in phase with their inputs.
Similarly, when the enable input is low, that driver is disabled,
and their outputs are off and in the high-impedance state..
Pulse Width Modulated (PWM) signal to tell a servo
where to rotate to. PWM works by sending a rapid train of
high/low signals to the servos regular driver brains, and
depending on how different the high signal is fromthe low
signal, the servo moves to the according position. PWM is
great if you dont want to rotate much more than 180, which
is fine for actuators, but not for driving wheels.
With our Secret motor driver and a bit of servo hacking,
were going to lobotimize and turn a standard servo into
something more useful - a small, compact, powerful gear
motor! Itll be something you can use very simple input
signals to control its rotation. Well even throw in a 5V
regulator hack if you want to clamp the voltage right at the
servo. Or, modify it for use on a breadboard, which will make
good use of the drivers indicator LEDs to show direction of
International Journal of Engineering Trends and Technology (IJETT) volume 5 number 2 - Nov 2013

ISSN: 2231-5381 http://www.ijettjournal.org Page 105

Fig.2 .Driver Circuit

Keil Software is the leading vendor for 8/16-bit
development tools (ranked at first position in the 2004
Embedded Market Study of the Embedded Systems and EE
Times magazine). Keil Software is represented world-wide in
more than 40 countries. Since the market introduction in 1988,
the Keil C51 Compiler is the de facto industry standard and
supports more than 500 current 8051 device variants. Now,
Keil Software offers development tools for ARM.
Keil Software makes C compilers, macro assemblers, real-
time kernels, debuggers, simulators, integrated environments,
and evaluation boards for the 8051, 251, ARM, and
XC16x/C16x/ST10 microcontroller families.
The robot is controlled by the mobile phone held by the
user, which communicates with the mobile phone attached to
the robot. In the course of a phone call, if any button is
pressed, a tone corresponding to the button pressed is heard at
the receiver end, which is called Dual Tone Multiple
frequency (DTMF) tone. The robot receives these tones via
the receiver mobile phone which is on board. The received
tone is processed by the microcontroller with the help of
DTMF decoder IC CM8870DE . This IC communicates with
the motor driver IC l293d through the microcontroller
interface which drives the motor in forward, reverse, right and
left directions according to the users key press. The
microcontroller featuring in this project will be the AVR
microcontrollerA GSM modem is a wireless modem that
works with a GSM wireless network. In this paper GSM
modemis used to communicate with mobile phone to which
message is going to be sent. The message is stored in internal
memory (ROM) of controller. 900 or 1800MHz is the
frequency band used for GSM communication. The working
of GSM modemis based on commands, the commands always
start with AT (which means Attention) and finish with a
<CR>character. The AT commands are given to the GSM
modemwith the help of PC or controller. In this paper the
GSM sends message only when PIR sensor is active. Once
PIR is active it informs to controller then GSM modem
activates then corresponding message transmitted to
destination number.

Here the robot is controlled by the mobile phone that
makes the call to the mobile phone attached to the robot.
During the course of the call, if any button is pressed, control
corresponding to the button pressed is heard at the other end
of the call. This unique tone is received by the mobile on the
robot, and is decoded with the help of the CM8870 IC.
The received tone is then processed by the Atmega8
microcontroller into its equivalent binary digit, according to
which it is pre-programmed to take a decision for any given
input and outputs its decision to the motor driver, in order to
drive the motors forward, backward or for rotatory motion.
The mobile that makes a call to the mobile phone kept in the
robot acts as a remote. So this simple robotic project does not
require the construction of receiver and transmitter units. This
algorithmexplains how the robot is controlled with DTMF
tones. The mechanical development and design of robot is
common to all designs such as wheel joints, robot chassis
design and remaining hardware like roller chains etc... Thats
why this paper completely gives about latest methodology in
controlling the robot and with advanced processing unit. This
robot is converted to some rescue application by attaching
GSM modem, PIR sensor and cameras rotating with the help
of DC motors. The basic algorithmis as follows, Figure 3
gives algorithm for DTMF.
Command frommobile then corresponding lower and higher
band frequencies are summed, resultant signal is decoded and
decoded signal is processed by controller and corresponding
action takes place fromrobot.

The working procedure of robot takes place in
stepwise. There are roughly five to six steps are used for this
process. The robot comes to rest position after climbing of
each step. The designed robot is broadly categorized into three
modules such as driving modules, pitch modules and linking

Hardly there are four steps are needed to climb each stair,
Lifting the front driving and pitch module.
Lifting middle part of robot (linking module) to set
direction of robot while moving forward.
Lifting the back driving and pitch modules of robot.
Coming to the rest/initial position.
Figure 4 shows the general prototype of robot it is
having two driving modules to move forward and backward
and two pitch modules used to adjust angles between driving
modules and linking module, so that we can change robot
position. The linking module contains a gearing systemwhich
can be used to set angles between driving modules. This robot
can work in two modes, serial configuration which moves
International Journal of Engineering Trends and Technology (IJETT) volume 5 number 2 - Nov 2013

ISSN: 2231-5381 http://www.ijettjournal.org Page 106

very fast in flat surfaces and parallel configuration which runs
in uneven terrains also.

Fig:3 prototype of climbing robot forward and backward.

Fig: 4 Algorithmfor DTMF Controlled Robot.

Mobile robots are usually used in tightly controlled
environments such as on assembly lines because they have
difficulty responding to unexpected interference A stair
climbing robot with autonomous movement has to be
designed and implemented. Here the robot is to be
implemented to cope with stairs, uneven terrains, and move
fast on flat surfaces. The main concern of this paper is
controlling method used to operate the robot, DTMF
technology is used, with which the robot can be controlled
anywhere fromworld, and also robot is equipped with roller
chains and rubber blocks such that chance of slippage of robot
is very often. This robot is also helpful for industrial
surveillance such as rescue/military team, for this robot is
designed with PIR sensor, GSM module and camera which
monitor surrounding places.LPC2148 is used in this robot
which is very accurate and speed to control all devices
interfaced with it. Initially after designing this robot it is tested
with RF module but to overcome the limitations of RF, DTMF
methodology is to be implemented. The overall benefits of the
robot include reduced personal requirements, reduced fatigue,
and access to unreachable areas.


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