JRM Vol.36 No.3 pp. 732-745
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2024.p0732


Ground Adaptability of Crawler Mobile Robots with Sub-Crawler Rotary Joint Compliance

Ayaka Watanabe*1, Tomonori Mitsuhashi*2, Masayuki Okugawa*3, Katsuji Ogane*4, Tetsuya Kimura*5, Tetsuya Kinugasa*6 ORCID Icon, and Yoshikazu Ohtsubo*7

*1Sanritz Automation Co., Ltd.
7-47-1-201 Kotobuki-cho, Toyota, Aichi 471-0834, Japan

*2Nagoya Rinkai Rapid Transit Co., Ltd.
1-46 Juichiya, Minato-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 455-0831, Japan

*3Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Aichi Institute of Technology
1247 Yachigusa, Yakusa-cho, Toyota, Aichi 470-0392, Japan

*4Field of Mechanical and System Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Niigata Institute of Technology
1719 Fujihashi, Kashiwazaki, Niigata 945-1195, Japan

*5Graduate School of Engineering, Nagaoka University of Technology
1603-1 Kamitomioka, Nagaoka, Niigata 940-2188, Japan

*6Department of Mechanical Systems Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Okayama University of Science
1-1 Ridaicho, Kita-ku, Okayama, Okayama 700-0005, Japan

*7Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Kindai University
3-4-1 Kowakae, Higashi-osaka, Osaka 577-8502, Japan

February 7, 2023
February 15, 2024
June 20, 2024
mechanical compliance, crawler robot, ground adaptability, interaction, mobiligence

Remote-controlled mobile robots are expected to be used in difficult- or impossible-to-access environments for inspection workers and responders, such as in investigations and search activities at accident/disaster sites and inspection/investigation work at plants/infrastructure. Among ground mobile robots, crawler mobile robots with sub-crawlers (also known as ground-adaptive crawler robots) excel at in-ground adaptability and stack escape; however, their operators require advanced remote-control technology and experience. Therefore, the introduction of semi-autonomous control to assist the operator is required. In this study, the principle of the pushing-up sequence and the possibility of mobiligence emerging from interaction with obstacles caused by the robot movement were described. In addition, the sub-crawler rotary joint’s compliance, which significantly contributes to ground adaptability, was hypothesized, and a compliance control system design method that uses the sub-crawler constraint angle as a design condition was proposed. It was confirmed that the model robot for the evaluation, which used the proposed method, could adapt to unknown obstacles without measuring their height and shape and traverse them based on experimental results. In addition, based on the numerical calculation results, it was determined that the optimum solution for the restriction angle of the sub-crawler was approximately 35°–50° from the perspective of propulsive force and tumble stability.

Ground-adaptive crawler robot obstacle traversing

Ground-adaptive crawler robot obstacle traversing

Cite this article as:
A. Watanabe, T. Mitsuhashi, M. Okugawa, K. Ogane, T. Kimura, T. Kinugasa, and Y. Ohtsubo, “Ground Adaptability of Crawler Mobile Robots with Sub-Crawler Rotary Joint Compliance,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.36 No.3, pp. 732-745, 2024.
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Last updated on Jul. 12, 2024