A Bio-inspired Crawling-Jumping Robot

A Bio-inspired Crawling-Jumping Robot

May 19, 2016 @ 21:46 | 

Robotist want to make a robot that can exhibit multiple locomotion like crawling, Jumping, climbing, Gliding, flying etc. Because each locomotion has it’s own advantages and disadvantages, a robot having single locomotion capability is not fit for all type of terrain and working environment.  So recent research on mobile milli-scale robots has focused on increasing their maneuverability by changing from single locomotion modes such as jumping, crawling, and climbing to forms of locomotion that integrate multiple movements (termed multi-modal locomotion). Milli-scale robots with multi-modal locomotion have been developed for two applications: reducing the cost of transport (CoT) and expanding locomotion domain.

To expand locomotion domain, Researchers from Biorobotics Laboratory, UCB; School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering/IAMD, Seoul National University, Korea developed an integrated crawling and jumping locomotion mechanism.  The same integrated crawling-jumping locomotion can easily be seen in small insects such as locusts, grasshoppers and froghoppers. During ordinary locomotion, these insects mainly use their four fore-legs to walk and crawl. But to escape from predators and to reach places where they cannot crawl, they use their relatively long and thick hind legs.

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The researchers are presenting their research work in this week of May at ICRA 2016. They developed a jumping-crawling robot of weighs 59.4 g that can jump upto 1.6 meters. The robot employs a novel jumping module with enhanced energy storing-capacity and a height-adjustable active trigger. To increase the energy-storing capacity, latex rubber and knee-like joints are employed to utilize large displacement of the elastic material. The active trigger is based on a single DC motor and can release stored energy at any state, enabling the robot to control the take-off speed of jumping.

jumping-crawling robot
                           Jumping-Crawling robot

Inspired by such insects, several milli-scale robots that use both crawling and jumping locomotions have been developed. Stoeter proposed a Scout robot that has two wheels for rolling and a winch for jumping. The robot can jump up to 30 cm by using its spring steel foot. The Mini-WhegsTM robot developed by Lambrecht overcomes obstacles by jumping up to 18 cm while crawling.

Here researchers propose a new robot that can control its trajectory by adjusting both its crawling speed and its jumping take-off speed. The robot consists of a height-adjustable and powerful jumping mechanism that is integrated with the lightweight six-legged Dash crawler (Dash Robotics Inc.). The whole robot weighs 59.4 g and is shown in Fig. The robot can jump from 1.10 m to 1.62 m and crawl at a speed of 0 m/s to 0.62 m/s.

 Existing Jumping-Crawling Robots:

Robots Mass (g) Size (cm) Jumping height (m) Jumping distance (m)
Scout 200 11.5 0.57
MiniWheg 191.4 10.4 0.18
Proposed robot 59.4 10.0 1.62 0.6

  • Reference: “An Integrated Jumping-Crawling Robot using Height-Adjustable Jumping Module” Gwang-Pil Jung, Carlos S. Casarez, Sun-Pill Jung, Ronald S. Fearing and Kyu-Jin Cho, Member, IEEE ICRA 2016. PAPER
  • Image: Biorobotics Laboratory


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