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Locomotion of a Multi-Link Nonholonomic Snake Robot

[+] Author Affiliations
Tony Dear, Matthew Travers, Howie Choset

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Scott David Kelly

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC

Paper No. DSCC2017-5349, pp. V002T21A011; 10 pages
  • ASME 2017 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • Volume 2: Mechatronics; Estimation and Identification; Uncertain Systems and Robustness; Path Planning and Motion Control; Tracking Control Systems; Multi-Agent and Networked Systems; Manufacturing; Intelligent Transportation and Vehicles; Sensors and Actuators; Diagnostics and Detection; Unmanned, Ground and Surface Robotics; Motion and Vibration Control Applications
  • Tysons, Virginia, USA, October 11–13, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5828-8
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Robot system models often have difficulty allowing for direct command over all input degrees of freedom if the system has a large number of imposed constraints. A snake robot with more than three links and a nonholonomic wheel on each link cannot achieve arbitrary configurations in all of its joints simultaneously. For such a system, we assume partial command over a subset of the joints, and allow the rest to evolve according to kinematic chained and dynamic models. Different combinations of commanded and passive joints, as well as the presence of dynamic elements such as torsional springs, can drastically change the coupling interactions and stable oscillations of the joints. We use the oscillation modes that emerge to inform feedback controllers that achieve desired overall locomotion of the robot.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Topics: Robots



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