Development of Automatic Bulldozer Blade Control System based on the Track Slip Ratio

Development of Automatic Bulldozer Blade Control System based on the Track Slip Ratio
Other Titles
트랙 슬립율 기반 불도저 블레이드 자동화 시스템 개발
Yong Seok LEE
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With the development of new power engines such as the steam engine, electric motor, gasoline engine and diesel engine, various types of construction machines have been developed and have rapidly advanced. This in turn has replaced large quantity of manpower, significantly changed work processes and shortened the process time, enhanced work efficiency, and improved the process quality. However, into recent years, manpower for the construction industry has been dwindling because job seekers avoid the construction work which is socially regarded as one of 3 dirty jobs, leading to the aging of skilled workers and a significant lack of manpower. For 16 years after 1995, the construction industry has not seen a productivity improvement in per worker, and according to data released by US Bureau of Labor Statistic in 2017, about 49% of construction work can be automated. To resolve these issues faced by the construction industry, rather than the development of new construction machines which require the operation of skilled workers, research is required to enable even unskilled workers to operate the existing construction machines like skilled workers, or to reduce the fatigue of skilled workers, thus enhancing work efficiency. Thus, this study proposes the bulldozer blade automation system in large-scale construction works such as housing development. The proposed bulldozer blade automatic control system requires the worker to operate only the movement of the bulldozer to the desired location within the working space as if a driver drives a car, and to operate the blade of the dozer according to the plan so that the digging work can be automatically done by the system. Thus, the system enables unskilled workers to operate the dozer and perform digging work, as well as does not require skilled workers to operate both the bulldozer and blade simultaneously, thus reducing their fatigue. To develop the proposed bulldozer blade automatic control system, this study proposes the attachment of the proposed sensor module and control module to a commercial bulldozer, as well as the application of the slip ratio theory, used mainly for the safe automobile driving in the automotive engineering category, and of the wedge theory used mainly for stabilizing the slope in the civil engineering category. To develop the proposed system, the bulldozer work was analyzed to be classified into 4 categories, and two dozer control methods (digging control, leveling control) were defined, and based on the bulldozer dynamics, the resisting force which hampers the bulldozer's digging was defined by deriving a relational expression using the slip ratio, and for the blade control, a relational expression was derived regarding the resisting force and the blade digging depth. To estimate the target position, the blade bottom, that control the blade, a transform equation was derived. The estimation of the blade bottom position in a bulldozer mounted with a sensor was verified through simulation and testing. Lastly, for the blade control, an active slip ratio control was proposed, and for the verification of the proposed algorithm, the control module and the sensor module were configured and underwent a field test. The test revealed that the error of the blade bottom position estimation was measured as or less, that, at the active slip ratio control, the bulldozer was stably operated, and that the blade control could be performed to ensure the maximum digging amount.
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