Propulsion Mechanism for a Lunar Subterranean Excavator Using Peristaltic Crawling
Hiroyuki Kitamoto, Hayato Omori, Hiroaki Nagai,
Taro Nakamura, Hisashi Osumi, and Takashi Kubota
Department of Precision Mechanics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University, 1-13-27 Kasuga, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8551, Japan
Exploration below the lunar surface has great potential for scientific progress and the future of space explanation. However, as of now, little is known about the environment of the lunar subsurface, but the international space community has plans to explore it. The development of an excavator that can perform underground investigations has been needed, so we have developed one with a peristaltic crawling mechanism. The robot consists of propulsion and excavation units. The propulsion unit consists of three propulsion subunits which together form the peristaltic crawling mechanism. The excavation unit has an earth auger to dig up and transport soil. In this study, we propose a new type of propulsion subunit. It has a belt drive system to facilitate the smooth movement of the propulsion subunits, and it enables the robot to support three subunits. We also perform experiments in which the excavation robot burrows into red soil to depths of up to 600 mm.
Taro Nakamura, Hisashi Osumi, and Takashi Kubota, “Propulsion Mechanism for a Lunar Subterranean Excavator Using Peristaltic Crawling,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.25, No.3, pp. 466-475, 2013.
-  W. Yamamoto, S. Mukoyama, H. Kanamori, and S. Aoki, “Lunar Solar Power Generation, “The LUNA RING”,” Technical Report of IEICE, 2010 (in Japanese).
-  K. Watanabe, S. Shimoda, T. Kubota, and I. Nakatani, “A Mole-Type Drilling Robot for Lunar Subsurface Exploration,” in Proc. of the 7th Int. Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, 2003.
-  K. Nagaoka, T. Kubota, and M. Otsuki, “Experimental Study on Autonomous Burrowing Screw Robot for Subsurface Exploration on the Moon,” in Proc. of IEEE Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 4104-4109, 2008.
-  L. Richter, P. Coste, V. V. Gromov, H. Kochan, R. Nadalini, T. C. Ng, S. Pinna, H.-E. Richter, and K. L. Yung, “Development and testing of subsurface sampling devices for the Beagle 2 lander,” Planetary and Space Science, Vol.50, pp. 903-913, 2002.
-  C. R. Stoker, A. Gonzales, and J. R. Zavaleta, “Moon/Mars Underground Mole,” in Proc. of the 2007 NASA Science Technology Conference, 2007.
-  S. Yasuda, K. Komatsu, and S. Tanaka, “Self-Turning Screw Mechanism for Burying Geophysical Sensors under Regolith,” in Proc. of the 11th Int. Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, 2012.
-  H. Omori, T. Murakami, H. Nagai, T. Nakamura, and T. Kubota, “Planetary Subsurface Explorer Robot with Propulsion Units for Peristaltic Crawling,” in Proc. of Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, pp. 649-654, 2011.
-  H. Sugi, “Evolution of Muscle Motion,” The University of Tokyo Press, p. 72, 1977 (in Japanese).
-  R. M. Alexander, “Exploring Biomechanics: Animals in Motion,” W. H. freeman and Company, 1992.
-  K. Yoshida, N. Mizuno, T. Yokoyama, H. Kanamori, M. Sonoyama, and T. Watabe, “Development of a mole-type robot for lunar/planetary sub-surface exploration, and its performance evaluation,” presented at the. 20th Annu. Conf. Robot. Soc. of Jpn., Paper 1J35, Osaka, Japan, 2002.
-  H. Omori, T. Nakamura, T. Yada, T. Murakami, H. Nagai, and T. Kubota, “Excavation mechanism for a planetary underground explorer robot,” in Proc. Int. Symposium on Robotics, Munich, pp. 1273-1279, 2010.
-  H. Omori, T. Nakamura, T. Murakami, H. Nagai, and T. Kubota, “An earth auger as excavation part for a planetary underground explorer robot using peristaltic crawling,” in Proc. Int. Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, pp. 784-789, Sapporo, 2010.
-  H. Omori, T. Murakami, H. Nagai, T. Nakamura, and T. Kubota, “Validation of measuring condition of planetary subsurface explorer robot using peristaltic crawling,” in Proc. IEEE Aerospace Conf., Montana, 2013.
-  S. Wakabayashi and K. Matsumoto, “Development of slope mobility testbed using simulated lunar soil,” JAXA Research and Development Memorandum, 2006.
This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Copyright© 2013 by Fuji Technology Press Ltd. and Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers. All right reserved.