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Design and Basic Experiments of a Shape-shifting Mobile Robot for Urban Search and Rescue

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3 Author(s)
Changlong Ye ; Robotic Lab., Shenyang Inst. of Autom. ; Shugen Ma ; Bin Li

The recent natural and man-made devastations have urged the research on the urban search and rescue (USAR) robot systems. This paper presents a novel shape-shifting mobile robot system named as Amoeba II (A-II) for the urban search and rescue application. It has been designed with three degrees of freedom (DOFs) and two tracked drive systems. This robot consists of two modular mobile units and a joint unit. The mobile unit is a tracked mechanism to enforce the propulsion of robot. The joint unit can transform the robot shape for getting high mobility. A-II robot not only can adapt to the environment but also can change its body corresponding to locus space. It behaves two states including the parallel state (named as II state) and the linear state (named as I state). The parallel state enables the robot with high mobility on rough ground. With the linear state the robot can climb upstairs and go through narrow space such as the pipe, cave etc. Also, the joint unit can propel the robot to roll in sidewise direction. Especially, two modular A-II robots can be connected through jointing common interfaces on the joint unit to compose a stronger shape-shifting robot, which can transform the body into four wheels-driven vehicle. Finally, the elementary experimental results validate the adaptation and its mobility

Published in:

Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2006 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on

Date of Conference:

9-15 Oct. 2006