Research Papers

Design, Modeling, and Motion Analysis of a Novel Fluid Actuated Spherical Rolling Robot

[+] Author and Article Information
Seyed Amir Tafrishi

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Kyushu University,
Fukuoka 810-0395, Japan
e-mail: amir@ce.mech.kyushu-u.ac.jp

Mikhail Svinin

Department of Information Science and Engineering,
Ritsumeikan University,
Kusatsu 525-8577, Japan
e-mail: svinin@fc.ritsumei.ac.jp

Esmaeil Esmaeilzadeh

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Tabriz,
Tabriz 51666-14766, Iran
e-mail: esmzadeh@tabrizu.ac.ir

Motoji Yamamoto

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Kyushu University,
Fukuoka 810-0395, Japan
e-mail: yama@mech.kyushu-u.ac.jp

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics. Manuscript received February 13, 2019; final manuscript received April 26, 2019; published online May 17, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Guimin Chen.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 11(4), 041010 (May 17, 2019) (10 pages) Paper No: JMR-19-1053; doi: 10.1115/1.4043689 History: Received February 13, 2019; Accepted April 26, 2019

This paper studies a novel fluid actuated system for a spherical mobile robot. The robot’s mechanism consists of two essential parts: circular pipes to lead spherical moving masses (cores) and an internal driving unit to propel the cores. The spherical shell of the robot is rolled by displacing the cores in the pipes filled with fluid. First, we describe the structure of the robot and derive its nonlinear dynamics using the D’Alembert principle. Next, we model the internal driving unit that actuates the core inside the pipe. The simulated driving unit is studied with respect to three important parameters—the input motor torque, the actuator size, and the fluid properties. The overall model of the robot is then used for analyzing motion patterns in the forward direction. Analytical studies show that the modeled robot can be implemented under the given design specifications.

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Fig. 1

History of proposed different internal mechanisms for actuating spherical robots with solid shell

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Fig. 2

Proposed fluid actuated spherical robot

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Fig. 3

The rolling robot with introduced basic vectors

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Fig. 4

Schematic of the fluid actuated mechanism

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Fig. 5

Model for the linear actuator and the cylinder interaction. Torque is carried through rotating body to move the joint that is connected to the cylinder rod.

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Fig. 6

The forces acting on the core at pipe A. Here, FB, FD, FW, Ff, and Fd are, respectively, the buoyancy, drag, weight, surface friction, and the dynamic pressure forces. N and N + 1 are the connecting ports to provide the liquid circulation with a single fluid actuator.

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Fig. 7

Fluid pressure and velocity from the cylinder tank to the main pipe with different input torques

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Fig. 8

The core locomotion and velocity results with inclusion of critical input torque Tcr

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Fig. 9

The IDU simulation results with different piston diameters DL

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Fig. 10

The pressure difference of the main pipe in the transition cycles of the cylinder versus different diameter DL. Note that the transition of the cylinder tank with bore area ALUC to the covered plunger area ACLL is the line with squares. The line with circles is the opposite process of the line with squares. The black vertical graph is the reference value of DL.

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Fig. 11

The input port pressure, the core position, and velocity for various fluids

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Fig. 12

The position and velocity of the sphere and the core in the first simulation case

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Fig. 13

The location of the core on sphere with respect to the base frame ΣI in first simulation case

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Fig. 14

The position and velocity of the sphere and the core in the second simulation case

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Fig. 15

The location of the core on the sphere with respect to the base frame ΣI in the second simulation case



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