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Exploration of Mobility Modes Arising From the Breakdown of a Basic Regular Tetrahedron

[+] Author Affiliations
Yin M. Chen, David Cappelleri

Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ

Paper No. DETC2012-70965, pp. 627-636; 10 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 36th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4503-5
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


One of the most important considerations in the design of robots is mobility. How does the system traverse the terrain and environment where it is expected to operate? In past efforts, engineers and scientists have received inspiration from man-in-the-loop vehicles and modes of mobility used by animals. While amazing advancements have been achieved, this top-down approach tends to focus on one specific solution to a problem which may cause other solutions to be overlooked. This paper approaches the mobility problem from a different point of view. Starting with the most basic three dimensional shape, a regular tetrahedron, we explore seven different modes of mobility arising from simple modifications of the initial shape. These resultant modes are then resolved into corresponding, existing mechanisms that are already widely applied. By using this bottom-up approach, we are able to explore available mobility modes in a much more comprehensive manner. Instead of starting with a complex system in mind, engineers will be able to use simple building blocks to enable different desired mobility behaviors.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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