Development of Genbu: Active-Wheel Passive-Joint Snake-Like Mobile Robot
Hitoshi Kimura, Keisuke Shimizu, and Shigeo Hirose
Department of Mechano-Aerospace Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 O-okayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8552, Japan
Snake-like robots of the Genbu series (Genbu 1,2,3) consist of multiple modules, equipped with active wheels, connected to each other by passive joints. These robots are categorized as Active-Wheel Passive-Joint articulated mobile robots (AW-PJ type). AW-PJ type robots have high-speed mobility and high-durability on rough terrain in spite of several problems, such as stuck condition, due to the passive joints. These are good properties for fire-fighting robots or planetary rovers. Genbu 3, developed in this study, could climb a 280mm vertical wall whereas the diameter of the wheel is 250mm. This paper describes the design concepts and the original mechanisms of Genbu 3. Automatic stuck detection algorithm and stuck avoidance methods are discussed. Para-skid steering is also described. Results of experiments with Genbu 3 are presented and discussed in order to verify these methods.
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