Design Innovation Paper

A New Compact Stair-Cleaning Robot

[+] Author and Article Information
Lei Zhang

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Nantong University,
Nantong 226019, China
e-mail: zhangleint@ntu.edu.cn

Yuan Yang

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Nantong University,
Nantong 226019, China
e-mail: 1219265011@qq.com

Yugang Gu

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Nantong University,
Nantong 226019, China
e-mail: 1767940884@qq.com

Xiaogang Sun

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Nantong University,
Nantong 226019, China
e-mail: 1207042814@qq.com

Xingtian Yao

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Nantong University,
Nantong 226019, China
e-mail: yao.xt@ntu.edu.cn

Liguo Shuai

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Southeast University,
Nanjing 211189, China
e-mail: liguo.shuai@126.com

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received July 23, 2015; final manuscript received January 27, 2016; published online March 17, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Pierre M. Larochelle.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 8(4), 045001 (Mar 17, 2016) (10 pages) Paper No: JMR-15-1206; doi: 10.1115/1.4032700 History: Received July 23, 2015; Revised January 27, 2016

Various stair-climbing or cleaning mechanisms have been proposed or developed in the past decades. Most of them are big-sized, complex, and/or expensive, which hinder their practical application. In this study, a new stair-cleaning robot is proposed and developed. In the new robot, a pair of legs is used for stair climbing. Rotating around the main body, the legs of the robot drive the feet to execute revolving but translational motions, thereby allowing the robot to climb. The new robot is highly compact compared with most traditional stair-cleaning or climbing robots, because only one motor is utilized to drive the climbing mechanism and the legs can be retracted at both sides of the robot when it is not climbing. Its compact structure enables the new robot to move along the riser to do cleaning on the stairs, which is a prominent advantage over most similar robots. The cleaning device is designed similar to that of current ground cleaning robots. The sensing and control system is designed for successful stair climbing and avoidance of falls and collisions. Experiments show that the new robot has high success rates in climbing up or down common types of stairs, and thus can do cleaning on the related stairs.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Stairs , Robots
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Fig. 1

Climbing up process of the lift–drop and telescopic stair-cleaning robot [20]

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Fig. 2

Working principle of climbing down stairs of the proposed approach

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Fig. 3

Synchronous sprocket mechanism diagram

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Fig. 4

Mechanics analysis of supporting

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Fig. 5

Mechanics analysis on the origin of chain tension

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Fig. 6

Major stair-climbing mechanism

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Fig. 7

Limit state that the front end of the robot just does not collide with the stair edge

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Fig. 8

Modification of la determination for practical consideration

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Fig. 9

Virtual display of the new robot and the size relationship between the robot and a stair

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Fig. 10

Translational locomotion device and cleaning device

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Fig. 11

Distribution of the back wheel, front wheel, and some sensors

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Fig. 12

Two cases that the robot will encounter when it is about to climb down

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Fig. 13

Internal structure of the front omnidirectional wheel for the detection of ground contact state

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Fig. 14

Planform of the poor posture before climbing

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Fig. 15

Manufactured new robot compared with a commercial flat floor-cleaning robot

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Fig. 16

Bottom of the new robot

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Fig. 17

Garbage collector

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Fig. 18

Different types of stairs where the new robot climbs down: (a) stairs A, (b) stairs B, (c) stairs C, (d) stairs D, (e) stairs E, and (f) stairs F

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Fig. 19

Image sequence of climbing down stairs A from the floor to the lower stairs

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Fig. 20

Forward rush when climbing up stairs C

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Fig. 21

Phenomenon of being pushed away from the original supporting points due to small dsi




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