0
Technical Brief

Controlling the Locomotion of Spherical Robots or why BB-8 Works

[+] Author and Article Information
Prithvi Akella

Student, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94706
prithviakella@berkeley.edu

Oliver O'Reilly

Professor, Fellow of ASME, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720
oreilly@berkeley.edu

Koushil Sreenath

Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720
koushils@berkeley.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042296 History: Received April 30, 2018; Revised December 04, 2018

Abstract

Spherical robots have a wide range of self-propulsion mechanisms. Of particular interest in the paper, are propulsion systems where wheels are placed in contact with the inner surface of the spherical shell of the robot. Here, locomotion is achieved by a combination of the actions of the motors along with the rolling constraints at the point of contact of the shell with the ground surface. We ask and seek the answer to the following question using elementary arguments: What is the minimal number of actuations needed to completely prescribe the motion the robot for the two distinct cases where it is rolling and sliding on a surface? We find that two points of actuation are all that is needed provided some simple geometric conditions are satisfied. Our analysis is then applied to the BB-8 robot to show how locomotion is achieved in this robot.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Figures

Tables

Errata

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In