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Design of a Four-DOF Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robot With Novel Gaits

[+] Author Affiliations
Khoa D. Chu, S. G. M. Hossain, Carl A. Nelson

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

Paper No. DETC2011-47746, pp. 747-754; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6: 35th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5483-9
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Throughout the modern age, exploration of the unknown has been an attractive pursuit to seekers of knowledge. One of the primary frontiers for exploration today involves planetary and lunar environments. Exploration in these environments can involve many different types of tasks in a broad range of environmental conditions. Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robots (MSRs) would be beneficial for completing these tasks in unstructured environments, while having the ability to complete multiple assigned functions. Since payload is a critical concern, a lighter and more dexterous MSR is preferable. This research focuses on the design of a robot that has these qualities. A chain-type modular robot with four degrees of freedom per module has been designed with the goal of reducing weight and size while increasing range of motion. Forward kinematic transformations were derived to analyze the available workspace provided by the MSR. Radio communication and proximity sensing ability were provided in the individual MSR modules to locate each other. The modules are designed to maneuver independently using their individual navigation capability as well as connect to each other by means of a docking mechanism. Locomotion gaits for such multi-module robot chains are also described.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Robots , Design



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