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Design of an autonomous amphibious robot for surf zone operation: part i mechanical design for multi-mode mobility

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4 Author(s)
Boxerbaum, A.S. ; Dept. of Mech. & Aerosp. Eng., Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH ; Werk, P. ; Quinn, R.D. ; Vaidyanathan, R.

The capability of autonomous and semi-autonomous platforms to function in the shallow water surf zone is critical for a wide range of military and civilian operations. Of particular importance is the ability to transition between locomotion modes in aquatic and terrestrial settings. The study of animal locomotion mechanisms can provide specific inspiration to address these demands. In this work, we summarize on-going efforts to create an autonomous, highly mobile amphibious robot. A water-resistant amphibious prototype design, based on the biologically-inspired Whegstrade platform, has been completed. Through extensive field-testing, mechanisms have been isolated to improve the implementation of the Whegstrade concept and make it more suited for amphibious operation. Specific design improvements include wheel-leg propellers enabling swimming locomotion, an active, compliant, water resistant, non-backdrivable body joint, and improved feet for advanced mobility. These design innovations allow Whegstrade to navigate on rough terrain and underwater, and accomplish tasks with little or no low-level control, thus greatly simplifying autonomous control system implementation. Complementary work is underway for autonomous control. We believe these results can lay the foundation for the development of a generation of amphibious robots with an unprecedented versatility and mobility

Published in:

Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics. Proceedings, 2005 IEEE/ASME International Conference on

Date of Conference:

24-28 July 2005