TechTalks from event: Technical session talks from ICRA 2012

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Mechanism Design of Mobile Robots

  • Design and Analysis of Novel Friction Controlling Mechanism with Minimal Energy for In-Pipe Robot Applications Authors: Choi, Changrak; Youcef-Toumi, Kamal
    In-pipe robots require friction on the wheels to maintain traction. Ability to vary this friction is highly desirable but conventionally used linkage mechanism is not suitable for it. This paper presents a novel mechanism that generates controllable friction with minimal energy for in-pipe robots. Details of how the mechanism uses permanent magnets to achieve the objective are discussed. A simple but appropriate model of a permanent magnet is also presented for the analysis. The paper identifies the important design parameters, and more importantly establishes the relation between the design parameters and the system’s performance. In addition, a prototype of the mechanism was designed, fabricated and tested for validation. The experimental results agree well with the predicted behavior through simulation and demonstrate the effectiveness of the mechanism.
  • Developing a Gait Enhancing Mobile Shoe to Alter Over-Ground Walking Coordination Authors: Handzic, Ismet; Reed, Kyle Brandon
    This paper presents a Gait Enhancing Mobile Shoe (GEMS) that mimics the desirable kinematics of a split-belt treadmill except that it does so over ground. Split-belt treadmills, with two separate treads running at different speeds, have been found useful in the rehabilitation of persons with asymmetric walking patterns. Although in preliminary testing, beneficial after-effects have been recorded, various drawbacks include the stationary nature of the split-belt treadmill and the inability to keep a person on the split-belt treadmill for an extended period of time. For this reason, the after-effects for long-term gait training are still unknown. The mobile ability of the GEMS outlined in this paper enables it to be worn in different environments such as in one's own house and also enables it to be worn for a longer period of time since the GEMS is completely passive. Healthy subject testing has demonstrated that wearing this shoe for twenty minutes can alter the wearer's gait and will generate after-effects in a similar manner as a split-belt treadmill does.
  • Cycloid vs. Harmonic Drives for Use in High Ratio, Single Stage Robotic Transmissions Authors: Sensinger, Jonathon; Lipsey, James
    Harmonic and cycloid drives are both compact, high ratio transmissions appropriate for use in anthropomorphic robots, although cycloid drives are rarely used in the field. This paper describes the design parameters for cycloid drives and shows the results of six cycloid models designed to match corresponding harmonic drives. Cycloid drive models were compared with manufacturing data from corresponding harmonic drives with respect to maximum gear ratio, transmission thickness, efficiency, backlash/gear ratio ripple, and reflected inertia. Cycloid drive designs were found to be thinner, more efficient, and to have lower reflected inertia than corresponding harmonic drives. However, the cycloid designs had larger gear ratio ripple and substantial backlash, and they could not meet the maximum gear ratio provided by the corresponding harmonic drives in two out of six models for equal applied torques. Two cycloid drives were manufactured to confirm efficiency predictions and demonstrated moderate to high efficiency across a range of output torques. Cycloid drives should be considered for robotic and prosthetic applications where smaller thickness/higher efficiency requirements dominate over low backlash/gear ratio ripple considerations.
  • Robot Environment for Combat Vehicle Driving Simulation Authors: Kamnik, Roman
    The paper presents a driving simulator of a combat vehicle aimed for driver-vehicle interaction studies and design of a full-scale driving simulator. The simulator incorporates a real-time combat vehicle dynamics simulation module, a graphical presentation module, a robotic seat motion system, and a haptic steering system. The simulation module simulates dynamic motion and interaction with the environment of a combat vehicle in real-time. The graphical presentation module generates driving scenes that are displayed on a screen by a back projection. The robotic system generates seat motion cues by means of a three degree-of-freedom hydraulically driven mechanism. The force feedback steering system built on the basis of a torque controlled induction motor is an interface between the driver and the simulator. The developed driving simulator is validated through comparison of motion and force feedback responses with those measured with real vehicle when performing standard test manoeuvres. The results verify matching in simulated and real driving environments.
  • Frictional Step Climbing Analysis of Tumbling Locomotion Authors: Hemes, Brett; Papanikolopoulos, Nikos
    Tumbling robots provide the potential to produce increased mobility on smaller scales with respect to their size and/or complexity. In this paper we explore the frictional interactions between a tumbling robot and the terrain while climbing a single vertical step to illustrate the advantages of tumbling. We present a set of parametric configuration equations that express the relationships between the robot’s configuration parameters (morphology, geometry, mass, etc.), the environmental/task parameters (step geometry, available coefficients of friction, etc.), and the performance parameters (step height). The required body coefficient of friction is examined in detail for idealized tumbling and wheel-tail robots. We further illustrate the results of our analysis by experimentally determining optimal tumbling and wheel-tail configurations for a given step size and body (wheel) friction.
  • Hex-DMR: A Modular Robotic Test-Bed for Demonstrating Team Repair Authors: Ackerman, Martin Kendal; Chirikjian, Gregory
    This work presents a novel test-bed design for demonstrating techniques for team repair in modular robotic systems. The advantages of using modular and team repairable robots are discussed and theoretical constraints for creating a system capable of team repair are enumerated. These constraints are used to develop the Hex-DMR (Hexagonal Distributed Modular Robot) system which centers on a unique repair scheme based on modular components. The proposed system is demonstrated first with computer simulations, which outline the environment navigation scheme and team operation dynamics, and then with a physical prototype, with which a simple repair maneuver is shown.