A unique robot-caterpillar crawls and jumps obstacles

the Robot-caterpillar, has a unique “skill”, to overcome obstacles in an unusual way. He may like to climb the barrier and jump over it. The thing is that he knows how to do the different parts of your body flexible and tough.

Development is described in a scientific paper published in the journal IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters engineers from the University of Ben-Gurion in Israel.

the New system is called Reconfigurable Continuous Track Robot (RCTR), which can be translated as “the Robot, changing its configuration for continuous movement”.

Externally, the device looks like a caterpillar tracked vehicles, say, a tank. It is a flexible circular ribbon, gathered from separate parts. The angle between adjacent links can change from -20 to 45 degrees. This provides system flexibility. Located inside the tape rotating its rollers, which are driven by three electric motors (in the future their number will be reduced to two).

the Mechanism in front of the robot can block the links of the chain, preventing them to shift relative to each other. To do this, each unit has locking pins. Links passing through the front roller can be locked parallel to each other or at an angle of twenty degrees, and can stay unlocked. It depends on what mode the system is in lock, when it passes a particular link. The design at the rear of the tracks unlocks the chains, when they reach it.

Thus, one part of the robot can remain flexible, while the other becomes rigid, inflexible. This allows the device to perform non-trivial maneuvers. For example, it can literally jump over a small obstacle without touching it in any link.

the larger the obstacles, the robot successfully climbed. To do this, it blocks part of the angle to bend your body.

Tests showed that the devicein a length of about 50 centimeters copes with rocky landscapes covered with grass, uneven areas and freestanding obstacles up to a height of 20 centimeters.

While the system can only move in a straight line, which, of course, prevents its potential application. But in the future engineers plan to add the steering device. Perhaps we will focus on two paired tracks (then we can apply the taxi chart, usually for tracked vehicles).

By the way, earlier “Conduct.Science” (nauka.vesti.ru) wrote about the other robots, generated in the same laboratory. Among them, the transformer robot that flies and moves on land, using the same engines.

Text: To.Science