TechTalks from event: Technical session talks from ICRA 2012

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Climbing Robots

  • Step Negotiation with Wheel Traction: A Strategy for a Wheel-Legged Robot Authors: Turker, Korhan; Sharf, Inna
    This paper presents a quasi-static step climbing behavior for a minimal sensing wheel-legged quadruped robot called PAW. In the quasi-static climbing maneuver, the robot benefits from wheel traction and uses its legs to reconfigure itself with respect to the step during the climb. The control methodology with the corresponding controller parameters is determined and the state machine for the maneuver is developed. With this controller, PAW is able to climb steps higher than its body clearance. Furthermore, any step height up to this maximum achievable height can be negotiated autonomously with a single set of controller parameters, without knowledge of the step height or distance to the step.
  • Fast Accessible Rescue Device by Using a Flexible Sliding Actuator Authors: Tsukagoshi, Hideyuki
    This paper discusses a method of locomotion called the “fluid powered ropeway”. It aims to collect information in dangerous buildings as rapidly and safely as possible. The device is mainly composed of a flexible flat tube and a gondola probe driven by fluid power using the buckling phenomenon of the tube. The big advantage is the gondola has the potential to traverse rocky terrains that wheeled and crawler-type vehicles have difficulty in crossing over. This is because the drive force of the gondola is not against the ground but against the tube. In this paper, first, how to operate fluid powered ropeway in a disaster site is illustrated. Next, how to increase the drive force, how to enhance the ability of the gondola to travel over obstacles, and an analysis of the performance are discussed. Finally, the feasibility of the proposed method is verified through an experiment that uses the prototype developed.
  • Design Considerations for Attachment and Detachment in Robot Climbing with Hot Melt Adhesives Authors: Wang, Liyu; Neuschaefer, Fabian; Bernet, Remo; Iida, Fumiya
    Robust climbing in unstructured environments is a long-standing challenge in robotics research. Recently there has been an increasing interest in using adhesive materials for that purpose. For example, a climbing robot using hot melt adhesives (HMAs) has demonstrated advantages in high attachment strength, reasonable operation costs, and applicability to different surfaces. Despite the advantages, there still remain several problems related to the attachment and detachment operations, which prevent this approach from being used in a broader range of applications. Among others, one of the main problems lies in the fact that the adhesive characteristics of this material were not fully understood fin the context of robotic climbing locomotion. As a result, the previous robot often could not achieve expected locomotion performances and ``contaminated'' the environment with HMAs left behind. In order to improve the locomotion performances, this paper focuses on attachment and detachment operations in robot climbing with HMAs. By systematically analyzing the adhesive property and bonding strength of HMAs to different materials, we propose a novel detachment mechanism that substantially improves climbing performances without HMA traces.
  • Parameter Optimization of Directional Dry Adhesives for Robotic Climbing and Gripping Applications Authors: Ruffatto III, Donald; Spenko, Matthew
    This paper experimentally investigates the optimization of directional dry adhesives that can be used for robotic climbing and gripping applications. Directional dry adhesives are modeled on gecko setae. The adhesives are comprised of arrays of micro-scale polymer stalks. The geometry of the polymer stalks has a significant effect upon their adhesion properties. A set of parameters including stalk thickness, stalk angle, face angle and stalk curvature have been identified as factors that influence both normal and shear adhesion levels. A new micro-resolution rapid prototyping process is used to create adhesives with varying geometry and advanced features such as curved stalks. A series of experimental tests characterize the significance of each parameter. Tests indicate that the new curved stalk geometry presented here can provide the greatest overall adhesion and robustness to variations in pull-off angle.
  • System and Design of Clothbot: A Robot for Flexible Clothes Climbing Authors: Liu, Yuanyuan; Wu, Xinyu; QIAN, Huihuan; Zheng, Duan; sun, jianquan; Xu, Yangsheng
    This paper presents a novel climbing robot called Clothbot which has high maneuverability on flexible clothes. It has a novel gripper consisting of two parallel wheels that can grip continuously and stably on various kinds of clothes. Clothbot also has an omni-directional tail of two DOFs so that it can change its center of gravity to control the moving direction on complex and undeterminate clothes. Consequently, Clothbot is able to access most positions of the clothes by moving straight and turning around with only four motors. It is compact, small and light-weighted but has a load capacity six times its own weight. A series of experiments validate its high performance on flexible clothes.