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Technical Brief

A Novel Underactuated Tetrahedral Mobile Robot

[+] Author and Article Information
Zhirui Wang

School of Mechanical, Electronic and Control Engineering,
Beijing Jiaotong University,
No.3 Shangyuancun, Haidian District,
Beijing 100044, China
e-mail: 14116358@bjtu.edu.cn

Yaobin Tian

Department of Industrial Engineering and
Decision Analytics,
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology,
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong
e-mail: ybtian@ust.hk

Yan-an Yao

School of Mechanical, Electronic and Control Engineering,
Beijing Jiaotong University,
No.3 Shangyuancun, Haidian District,
Beijing 100044, China
e-mail: yayao@bjtu.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received October 26, 2017; final manuscript received May 23, 2018; published online June 18, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Hai-Jun Su.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 10(4), 044506 (Jun 18, 2018) (7 pages) Paper No: JMR-17-1365; doi: 10.1115/1.4040438 History: Received October 26, 2017; Revised May 23, 2018

This paper presents a novel underactuated tetrahedral mobile robot with 12 degrees-of-freedom (DOFs). The robot contains four vertices and six URU chains (where U represents a universal joint and R represents an actuated revolute joint). The tetrahedral structure makes the robot have continuous mobile ability at any posture. The mobility analysis has been made and demonstrates the feasibility of underactuated which demands fewer devices and low costs. A kind of rolling locomotion of the robot is proposed, and the feasibility of the locomotion is proved by the kinematic and locomotion analysis based on an equivalent planar mechanism. Finally, a prototype is manufactured and a series of experiments are performed to verify the mobile capability of the robot.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) Sketch of the robot, (b) chain BNK's sketch, and (c) the three R joints connected to vertex ABC

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Placement of the actuators

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Fig. 3

Sketch of the robot when take it upside down

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Fig. 4

Sketch of the 3-URU parallel mechanism

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Fig. 5

Simplification of the robot: (a) sketch of the robot with actuators and (b) simplified sketch of the robot

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Fig. 6

The process of the rolling locomotion

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Fig. 7

The state when actuators at P and N are actuated synchronously only

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Fig. 8

Projection of the robot: (a) normal view and (b) projected view on plane xoy

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Fig. 9

The process of the rolling locomotion with projected view

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Fig. 10

A certain moment in the process of the rolling locomotion: (a) project view on plane xoy and (b) normal view

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Fig. 11

Maps of xCM: (a) the color map of xCM, (b) iso-map of xCM and (c) color bar

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Fig. 13

The spring-universal joint

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Fig. 14

Rotation center experiment

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Fig. 15

Process of the prototype's rolling locomotion

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Fig. 16

Process of the prototype's linear motion

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