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Research Papers

Modeling and Mechanical Analysis of Snake Robots on Cylinders

[+] Author and Article Information
Chaoquan Tang

School of Mechatronics Engineering,
China University of Mining and Technology,
Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221116, China
e-mail: tangchaoquan@cumt.edu.cn

Peng Li

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Automation,
Harbin Institute of Technology (ShenZhen),
ShenZhen, Guangdong 518055, China
e-mail: peng.li@hit.edu.cn

Gongbo Zhou

School of Mechatronics Engineering,
China University of Mining and Technology,
Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221116, China
e-mail: zgbo@cumt.edu.cn

Deyuan Meng

School of Mechatronics Engineering,
China University of Mining and Technology,
Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221116, China
e-mail: mdy@cumt.edu.cn

Xin Shu

School of Mechatronics Engineering,
China University of Mining and Technology,
Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221116, China
e-mail: shuxin@cumt.edu.cn

Shuai Guo

School of Information Engineering,
Zhengzhou University,
Zhengzhou, Henan 450001, China
e-mail: guoshuaidoc@gmail.com

Zhixiong Li

School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering,
University of Wollongong,
Wollongong, New South Wales 2522, Australia;
School of Engineering,
Ocean University of China,
Tsingdao, ShanDong 266110, China
e-mail: zhixiong_li@uow.edu.au

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics. Manuscript received April 22, 2018; final manuscript received April 26, 2019; published online May 17, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Nabil Simaan.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 11(4), 041013 (May 17, 2019) (11 pages) Paper No: JMR-18-1114; doi: 10.1115/1.4043683 History: Received April 22, 2018; Accepted April 26, 2019

The narrow and redundant body of the snake robot makes it suitable for the inspection of complex bar structures, such as truss or tree structures. One of the key issues affecting the efficient motion of snake robots in complex bar structures is the development of mechanical models of snake robots on cylinders. In other words, the relationship between the payload and structural and performance parameters of the snake robot is still difficult to clarify. In this paper, the problem is approached with the Newton–Euler equations and the convex optimal method. Firstly, from the kinematic point of view, the optimal attitude of the snake robot wrapped around the cylinder is found. Next, the snake robot is modeled on the cylinder and transformed into a convex optimization problem. Then, the relationship between the payload of the snake robot on the cylinder and the geometric and attitude parameters of the body of snake robots is analyzed. Finally, the discussion for the optimal winding attitude and some advices for the design of the snake robot are proposed. This study is helpful toward the optimal design of snake robots, including geometry parameters and motor determination.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of the projection length relationship of the snake robot links

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Fig. 2

The attitude parameters of the snake robot on a cylinder

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Fig. 3

Mechanical analysis of the snake robot in a plane: (a) the whole snake robot and (b) an individual link of the snake robot

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Fig. 4

Mechanical analysis of the snake robot in space: (a) the whole snake robot (b) an individual link of the snake robot

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Fig. 5

The relationship between the sum of normal forces J and the angle β and number n in the case of the plane type winding attitude

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Fig. 6

The relationship between the payload ps and the angle β and number n in the case of the plane type winding attitude

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Fig. 7

The relationship between the payload ps and the angle φ and length of links li in the case of the helix type winding attitude

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Fig. 8

The relationship between the payload ps and the angle φ and number n in the case of the helix type winding attitude

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Fig. 9

The relationship between the payload ps and the angle φj and length of links li in the case of the multi-circle type winding attitude

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Fig. 10

The relationship between the payload ps and the angle φj and number n in the case of the multi-circle type winding attitude

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Fig. 11

The relationship between the payload ps and the angle Am and length of links li in the case of the sine-wave type winding attitude

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Fig. 12

The relationship between the payload ps and the angle Am and number n in the case of the sine-wave type winding attitude

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Fig. 13

The experimental platform of the snake robot on cylinders

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Fig. 14

Comparison of the measured value and the theoretical value of the distribution of normal forces between the snake robot and the PVC pipe

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Fig. 15

The comparison of payloads of three different winding attitudes in the case of different link lengths

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Fig. 16

The comparison of payloads of three different winding attitudes in the case of different link numbers

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