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Utilizing Reaction Wheels to Increase Maneuverability and Localization Accuracy of a Hovering Robot

[+] Author Affiliations
Akin Tatoglu, Sean Greenhalge, Kevin Windheuser

University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT

Paper No. IMECE2016-66164, pp. V04BT05A036; 8 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4B: Dynamics, Vibration, and Control
  • Phoenix, Arizona, USA, November 11–17, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5055-8
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Hovercraft like vehicles have various advantages including traveling over almost any non-porous surface. Hovering bodies could use its thrusters to generate an active braking system. However, time required to stop and change direction of the propellers is not sufficient enough for sudden brake needs specifically in obstacle rich co-robot environment. Moreover, high speed sharp turn ability increases path planning algorithms efficiency by reducing overall mission time for any given simple task such as docking to power stations or more sophisticated tasks of sweeping unexplored areas. This paper discusses and examines the application of a reaction wheel mounted to a hovering body to allow for rapid maneuver. Reaction wheel is designed to have enough mass to adjust motion of the hovering robot due to unexpected drift or requested maneuver. Wheel would accelerate to high velocity and experience an instantaneous brake which allows energy stored in moment of inertia to be transferred from wheel to body. Detailed design approach, assembly steps, equations of motion and simulation results incorporated with generated path are discussed. Finally, set of real world experiments were executed and comparison plots are listed. Results showed that solution improves maneuverability of such structure substantially.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Robots , Wheels



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