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Research Papers

Design and Modeling of a New Drive System and Exaggerated Rectilinear-Gait for a Snake-Inspired Robot

[+] Author and Article Information
James K. Hopkins

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742

Satyandra K. Gupta

Department of Mechanical Engineering
and Institute for Systems Research,
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742
e-mail: skgupta@umd.edu

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received September 12, 2012; final manuscript received October 15, 2013; published online January 3, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Vijay Kumar.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 6(2), 021001 (Jan 03, 2014) (8 pages) Paper No: JMR-12-1138; doi: 10.1115/1.4025750 History: Received September 12, 2012; Revised October 15, 2013

In recent years, snake-inspired locomotion has garnered increasing interest in the bio-inspired robotics community. This positive trend is largely due to the unique and highly effective gaits utilized by snakes to traverse various terrains and obstacles. These gaits make use of a snake's hyper-redundant body structure to adapt to the terrain and maneuver through tight spaces. Snake-inspired robots utilizing rectilinear motion, one of the primary gaits observed in natural snakes, have demonstrated favorable results on various terrains. However, previous robot designs utilizing rectilinear gaits were slow in speed. This paper presents a design and an exaggerated rectilinear gait concept for a snake-inspired robot which overcomes this limitation. The robot concept incorporates high speed linear motion and a new multimaterial, variable friction force anchoring concept. A series of traction experiments are conducted to determine appropriate materials to be used in the friction anchor (FA) design. The gait concept includes four unique gaits: a forward and a turning gait, which both emphasize speed for the robot; and a forward and turning gait which emphasize traction. We also report a comparative study of the performance of prototype robot designed using these concepts to other published snake-inspired robot designs.

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Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Robots , Design , Traction , Friction
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Figures

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Fig. 1

High speed forward gait

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Fig. 2

Snake-inspired robot design and simplified kinematic representation

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Fig. 5

High speed turning gait (left) and high traction forward (center) and turning (right) gaits

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Fig. 4

Snake-inspired robot joint and friction anchor modules

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Fig. 3

Parallel mechanism kinematics

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