Crawling Locomotion of Modular Climbing Caterpillar Robot with Changing Kinematic Chain.
ABSTRACT Based on the modular concept, this paper presents two caterpillar robot prototypes which are inspired by two typical caterpillars: inchworm and pine caterpillar. The inchworm robot prototype features simplest kinematics and open chain architecture. Due to the fact that there is only one attachment module supporting the inchworm robot during crawling, we apply an unsymmetrical phase method (UPM) to realize a stable crawling gait for it. A pine caterpillar robot is derived from combining two inchworm robots together. The crawling gait of it features a repetitive changing chain: open-closed-open. Besides the UPM in open chain states, a four-links kinematic model is applied to control the corresponding joints to transfer the crawling wave along the robot body in the closed chain state. These two prototypes are all constructed and, and their crawling locomotion abilities have been tested on vertical glasses respectively.
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ABSTRACT: The mechanical design of a novel robotic module for a self-reconfigurable modular robotic system is presented in this paper. The robotic module, named Scout robot, was designed to serve both as a fully sensorized autonomous miniaturized robot for exploration in unstructured environments and as a module of a larger robotic organism. The Scout robot has a quasi-cubic shape of 105 mm x105 mm x 123.5 mm, and weighs less than 1 kg. It is provided with tracks for 2-D locomotion and with two rotational DoFs for reconfiguration and macrolocomotion when assembled in a modular structure. A laser sensor was incorporated to measure the distance and relative angle to an object, and image-guided locomotion was successfully demonstrated. In addition, five Scout robot prototypes were fabricated, and multimodal locomotion of assembled robots was demonstrated.IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics 08/2012; · 3.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Due to the sliding force arising from the closed chain mechanism among the adhering points of a climbing caterpillar robot (CCR), a sliding phenomenon will happen at the adhering points, e.g. the vacuum pads or claws holding the surface. This sliding force makes the attachment of the robot unsteady and reduces the motion efficiency. According to the results of the bionic research, some flexible structures based on natural rubber bars are applied in the CCR, which was originally composed of only rigid parts. This paper establishes the static model of the sliding forces, the distortion of flexible bars and the driving torques of joints firstly. Then, the paper designs a method to reduce the sliding force by exerting a compensating angle to an active joint of the CCR. The analyses and experimental results indicate that the flexible structure and the compensating angle method can reduce the sliding forces remarkably.Information and Automation (ICIA), 2012 International Conference on; 01/2012