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Research Papers

Design, Modeling, and Integration of a Flexible Universal Spatial Robotic Tail

[+] Author and Article Information
William S. Rone

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Virginia Tech,
Randolph Hall, Room 8,
460 Old Turner Street (0710),
Blacksburg, VA 24061
e-mail: wsrone@vt.edu

Wael Saab

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Virginia Tech,
Randolph Hall, Room 8,
460 Old Turner Street (0710),
Blacksburg, VA 24061
e-mail: waelsaab@vt.edu

Pinhas Ben-Tzvi

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Virginia Tech,
Goodwin Hall, Room 465,
635 Prices Fork Road (0238),
Blacksburg, VA 24061
e-mail: bentzvi@vt.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received October 24, 2017; final manuscript received February 21, 2018; published online April 5, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Leila Notash.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 10(4), 041001 (Apr 05, 2018) (14 pages) Paper No: JMR-17-1360; doi: 10.1115/1.4039500 History: Received October 24, 2017; Revised February 21, 2018

This paper presents the novel design of a bioinspired robot capable of generating spatial loading relative to its base. By looking to nature at how animals utilize their tails, a bioinspired structure is developed that utilizes a redundant serial chain of rigid links to mimic the continuous deformation of a biological tail. Individual links are connected by universal joints to enable a spatial robot workspace capable of generating spatial loading comprised of pitch, yaw, and roll direction contributions. Two sets of three cables are used to create two actuated segments along the robot. A dynamic model of the robot is derived using prescribed cable displacement trajectories as inputs to determine the resulting joint angle trajectories and cable tensions. Sensors are integrated on-board the robot to calculate joint angles and joint velocities in real-time for use in feedback control. The loading capabilities of the robot are analyzed, and an experimental prototype is integrated and demonstrated.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Design concept for bipedal robot with USRT

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Fig. 2

Universal spatial robotic tail

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Fig. 3

USRT subsegment: structure and actuation

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Fig. 4

USRT subsegment: elasticity and sensing

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Fig. 5

Front view of a USRT rolling motion through −180 deg with the robot bent 180 deg, shown in 45 deg increments

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Fig. 6

USRT frame definitions and joint/link COM vectors

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Fig. 7

USRT subsegment kinematics definitions

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Fig. 8

Workspaces and mode shapes of a two-segment, six-link USRT

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Fig. 9

Simulated joint angle trajectories for 90 deg yaw bending in 0.5 s (units: deg)

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Fig. 10

Yaw-angle case study simulated loading: 90 deg bending (units: force: N; moment: N·m)

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Fig. 11

Yaw-angle case study simulated loading: 150 deg bending (units: force: N; moment: N·m)

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Fig. 12

Simulated pitch trajectories for 90 deg pitch bending in 0.5 s (units: deg)

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Fig. 13

Pitch-angle case study simulated loading: (a) 90 deg bend and (b) 150 deg bend (units: force: N; moment: N·m)

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Fig. 14

Simulated loading for zero-yaw, positive-pitch initial condition for −180 deg rolling motion with 90 deg bend (units: force: N; moment: N·m)

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Fig. 15

Simulated loading for negative-yaw, zero-pitch initial condition for −180 deg rolling motion with 90 deg bend (units: force: N; moment: N·m)

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Fig. 16

Simulated loading for zero-yaw, negative-pitch initial condition for −180 deg rolling motion with 90 deg bend (units: force: N; moment: N·m)

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Fig. 17

USRT sensing: (a) displacement sensor arrangement in adjacent subsegments and (b) disk i sensor-frame definition

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Fig. 18

USRT experimental test platform

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Fig. 19

Simulated and experimental joint trajectories for yaw case study 90 deg bend in 0.5 s (units: deg)

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Fig. 20

Simulated and experimental loading for yaw case study 90 deg bend in 0.5 s (units: force: N; moment: N·m)

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Fig. 21

Simulated and experimental joint trajectories for pitch case study 90 deg bend in 0.5 s (units: deg)

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Fig. 22

Simulated and experimental loading for pitch case study 90 deg bend in 0.5 s (units: force: N; moment: N·m)

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Fig. 23

Simulated and experimental pitch-angle trajectories for roll case study 180 deg roll at a 90 deg bend in 0.8 s (units: deg)

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Fig. 24

Simulated and experimental yaw-angle trajectories for roll case study 180 deg roll at a 90 deg bend in 0.8 s (units: deg)

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Fig. 25

Simulated and experimental loading for roll case study 180 deg roll at a 90 deg bend in 0.8 s (units: force: N; moment: N·m)

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