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Tankbot: A miniature, peeling based climber on rough and smooth surfaces

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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

Tankbot is a miniature, energy efficient, lightweight (60 g), and robust climbing robot. It uses the continuous detachment force (peeling) of the flat, bulk tacky elastomer tread to climb. An optimum peeling angle with a preliminary analysis of the pretension effect, and the tread force distributions are presented. A passive tail transfers the peeling force from the rear wheel to the front and ensures intimate continuous contact with the surface. Tankbot works in any orientation on smooth surfaces, such as glass and acrylic, of all slope angles (0 – 360 degrees). However, the robot can only work vertically on relatively rough surfaces in any direction, such as wood, metal, painted wall, and painted brick. Tankbot can carry a payload of up to 40 g and 100 g on inverted and vertical surfaces, respectively. In addition, the robot can go over obstacles up to 15 mm tall on smooth vertical surfaces. Internal transitioning from horizontal to vertical and vertical to horizontal and external transitioning from vertical to the horizontal are also achieved. The 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