Study on Roller-Walker – Multi-mode Steering Control and Self-Contained Locomotion –
Gen Endo and Shigeo Hirose
Department of Mechano-Aerospace Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8552, Japan
We have proposed a new leg-wheel hybrid mobile robot named “Roller-Walker”. Roller-Walker is a vehicle with a special foot mechanism, which changes to a sole in walking mode and a passive wheel in skating mode. On rugged terrain the vehicle walks in leg mode, and on level or comparatively smooth terrain the vehicle makes wheeled locomotion by roller-skating using the passive wheels. The characteristics of Roller-Walker are: 1) it has a hybrid function but it is light-weight, 2) it has the potential capability to exhibit high terrain adaptability in skating mode if the control method for roller-wolfing is fully investigated in the future. In this paper, the 4 leg trajectory of straight Roller-Walk is optimized in order to achieve maximum constant velocity. Also steering roller-walk control method is proposed. It is obtained by the expansion of the straight roller-walk trajectory theory adding an offset to the swinging motion. This steering method resembles that of a car. The control system was modified into an untethered system, and control experiments were performed. The realization of the steering motion was verified by them.
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