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A miniature ceiling walking robot with flat tacky elastomeric footpads

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2 Author(s)
Ozgur Unver ; Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 422 Scaife Hall, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA ; Metin Sitti

In this paper, the design, analysis, and development of a sixteen-legged palm-sized climbing robot using flat bulk tacky elastomer adhesives as an attachment method is presented. A legged robot with four-bar based kinematics is designed and fabricated with elastomeric footpads. The proposed robot has a passive peeling mechanism for energy efficient and vibration free detachment. A rocker-type mechanism in the leg and compliant foam under the footpads are utilized for passive alignment on concave and convex surfaces. Adhesion experimental data is used to estimate the adhesion and preload saturation on the footpads on different angled acrylic surface. It is showed that although the initial preload does not affect the adhesion and preload saturation point, the orientation and the weight of the robot, roughness of the surface, and waiting time between consecutive steps greatly effect the climbing performance. Experimental results revealed that the robot can climb in any direction in 3D space on smooth surfaces, such as acrylic and glass. It can carry a payload of up to 2 N, which is almost twice as its own weight, on a smooth inverted surface. The robot can robustly climb vertically on relatively rough surfaces such as a painted wall or a wooden door. Potential applications of this robot include inspection, exploration, maintenance, cleaning, repair, and search and rescue.

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, 2009. ICRA '09. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

12-17 May 2009